By Missy Chappell
The 2017 Warrior football season wrapped up Sunday, Dec. 17 with the awards banquet. The winning tradition at Tuscola continued this season with the total win loss record between all 3 squads at 27-3. The varsity squad, who finished as the state runner up in 1A had a 13-1 record. The junior varsity team finished with a record of 8-0, and the Fresh-Soph squad finished at 6-2.
Coach Andy Romine and the rest of the coaching staff centered the night around talking about the difference between having a team versus having a program. Tuscola certainly has the latter.
“A lot of schools have a football team, but not all schools have a football program, and there’s a difference,” Romine said following thank you’s. “It’s not always measured in wins and losses, though it sure helps to win. The first thing to look at is how important the team is to the school and then how important the team is to the town.”
Romine said that administrators have told him over the years that a successful football program means a successful school year, because the district feeds off that success. It starts things off right.
He talked about numbers. The team has had over 60 players for the past three season.
“This year we’ll have nearly 50 (varsity) names on the banner that hangs over there on the wall. Next year our numbers will be similar or better. Football isn’t for everybody, but I’m really proud of the fact that we lose very few kids over the course of their career. More so that we lose very few kids due to issues relating to playing time. Why? I think we’ve done a good job of cultivating a feeling and culture that every kid in our program is important. Their role on our team is important, no matter the size of the role, they’re important to our success. Very few programs keep kids for four years who don’t see playing time until they’re seniors. Even if that playing time is just special teams, we go out of our way to make kids feel and understand the importance of their role.”
He continued, “Our JV squad is 15-1 the past two seasons, 8-0 this season. We place an emphasis on it. Our freshmen are 12-3 the past two years. That leads to varsity success in the future. I’ve yet to hear one complaint about a junior traveling on a Monday bus to a JV game. It’s the way it is. It’s how to build a program. In fact the only people I’ve ever heard complain about it are our opponents who say, ‘That kid played in the varsity game on Friday night.’ He sure did, as a right guard and he’s playing defensive end in the JV game because that’s how you build a program.”
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Dec. 20 edition of The Tuscola Journal.