Three-Point Stance: Tri-Valley Remains On Top

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Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. The series continues in the MVL, where competition is always high from top to bottom.

The Tri-Valley Scotties’ 2012 season can only be described as dominant. The Black and Gold had an average margin of victory of 39.5 points, and only three of the Scotties’ twelve opponents could come within three scores. While the team seemed nearly unbeatable in the regular season, Tri-Valley exited the playoffs early due to a second round loss to New Albany High School. The bitter end to their remarkable season left a bad taste in their mouths, but Tri-Valley is more motivated than ever to make another run and contend for another state title.

Here are three things to know about the 2013 Tri-Valley Scotties:

1. Filling in the Pieces

The 2012 Scotties’ stellar offensive production can be largely credited to Nathan Strock and Austin Jones. Strock, Tri-Valley’s all-time leading passer, and Jones, the all-time leading rusher, accumulated the majority of the offense last fall. The Scotties lose Jones and Strock to graduation, so the offense faces a major deficit going into camp.

“It’s not like you can replace their productivity by two spots,” coach Justin Buttermore said. “We’ve got to be a lot more balanced and distribute the ball a lot better. I think you’re going to see a lot more faces and names that you haven’t heard of.”

Buttermore also said he believes the Scottie front line is the team’s biggest strength, an important piece to have when dealing with inexperienced specialty players.

2. The Immovable Object

Only allowing 9.0 points per game in 2012, the Tri-Valley defense was the best in the MVL, mostly because of its ability to stop the run. The Scotties return their whole defensive front line, leading Buttermore to have the same high expectations

“When you stop the run and make a team one dimensional, you’re always going to be pretty good defensively,” Buttermore said. “I think our front seven has been great over the last few years.”

Buttermore added that even in at a time when many teams like to run spread offenses, taking away the run is still pivotal in defensive success.

3. The Bar Remains High

When a team loses the kind of talent that Tri-Valley loses this season, most fans expect a rebuilding season. But Buttermore made it clear that he doesn’t want anyone to think the bar has been lowered.

Our expectations are the same,” Buttermore said. “We’re going to compete for a league title and a playoff spot regardless of whether we’re young or old. We feel like our program is to a point that our expectations don’t change. We expect the same from the program and how we get there always changes, but our expectations don’t change.”

Tri-Valley kicks off the 2013 campaign on its home turf against Licking Valley, its toughest regular season opponent a year ago, on Friday, Aug. 30.

Follow @gridironglory on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Gridiron Glory Facebook page for continued coverage throughout the preseason. Gridiron Glory returns Friday, Aug. 23 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB.