South Ready for New Season with New Coach
J. C. Tilton
Next Friday the season begins for Twin Valley South at Dixie. This fall the team will have a new coach in Scott Cottingim. He has experience as head football coach at Preble Shawnee where he had the program going the right direction, but had to give up that coaching job when he became an administrator at Shawnee per school rules. Since South does not have this type of restriction, he became football coach even though he is currently the high school principal.
He has several returning starters that will be the core of this years team, Spencer Irvin is returning as running back, Jesse Simpson at offensive line, JT Stone at fullback, Branden Wiseman at center. He also has two seniors who haven't played for a year or two in Wes Bassler and Wes Rehmert - he expects these two athletes to contribute. He feels that the players are adjusting to his new system. “We just have to learn to be consistent and to learn how to overcome bumps in the road - like the times when there is an offsides or a penalty, not to point fingers but instead come together as a team. I think we will be able to overcome those things and put together a pretty good team.” The assistant coaching staff has been overhauled as well. David Slammer, David Maddox, and Jeff Bridgeford (Defensive Coordinator) will be helping on the sidelines.
Coach Cottingim was asked about preparation for Dixie, “We know they like to spread out their offense and they like to throw the ball. I think we can match up with them on the perimeter. I think it plays in our favor; them spreading us out. We will try to throw a power game at them on offense. I think that we can outsize them on the line and get after them a little bit.” Next the coach was asked about the losing streak that South has been on, 1-29 over the last three seasons. “We haven't really talked about the streak, but so much on how to play winning football. Even last year they played good in spurts. But you have to find a way to win a football game, not find a way to let it slip away from you. So that is what we have been focusing on. So we have been doing everything, like how to act once you score, and so forth. The seniors have won one game in their career and the juniors none. So we have to find how to win games. And once they get a taste of it, I think they are going to run with it. It's a matter of getting over that first hurdle.”
Finally he was asked what challenges he saw for the team, “Well, I want us to come together as a team. In the past when things started to get out of hand, it really went out of hand. We are going to face some teams that are really good. But the longer you play with them, the more opportunity you got to win one. Even if we are outmatched, if we come together as a team and play with these teams, towards the end of the ball game we will have a chance to win it. So that is one of our goals to come together as a team. We have some good people and athletes and I feel we can make some noise once we get over that first hurdle.” South fans will be watching from the stands to see if coach Cottingim can lead the team out of the wilderness this fall.