Tigers prepare to pounce on Indians

Nikki Blankenship - [email protected]

It is going to be a tough week for the Valley Indians as they will face opposition from a team that is bigger, badder and more experienced. The Indians will battle Friday night in a home conference game against the Waverly Tigers.

The Tigers are having an amazing season, with a 5-0 record. The Indians, however, are currently 0-6. They haven’t had a season this bad in more than a decade. In fact, Valley has not had a losing season since 2007 when they ended with a 4-6 record. Last year, the Indians ended with 9 wins and only 2 losses. Previous records include 12-3 in 2014, 11-1 in 2013, 12-1 in 2012 and 12-1 in 2011. Unaccustomed to not having a win this far into the season, the Valley Indians are certain to be struggling with the confidence they need to bring onto the field.

Still, Waverly Coach Chris Crabtree says it’s anybody’s game. Though statistically Valley is not slated to win this one, Crabtree says surprises do happen.

“You can’t ever really tell who is going to come out on top from one week to the next,” Crabtree commented.

Crabtree is counting on his Tigers to continue to play hard, even when they appear to be up against a lesser opponent.

“If we go out and do the things we need to do and execute like I know we can, we’ll be in good shape,” the coach stated.

Unlike the Indians who are in a rebuilding stage and playing a lot of lesser experienced players, Crabtree said that the Tigers are senior heavy, with 12 to 14 seniors playing. Additionally, he says that the team is in their prime.

“We’re probably as athletic as we’ve been,” confirmed Crabtree. “We have a lot of varsity experience.”

That varsity experience has really shown in the Tiger’s performance on the field.

“We haven’t given up many points,” Crabtree stated.

Crabtree’s comment is a bit of an understatement. The Tigers have only given up 13 points this season, and all of those went to Unioto in Week 3. There defensive game is not all that is strong. The Tigers have scored 212 points this season, shutting out the Piketon Redstreaks (Piketon’s only loss this season), the Zane Trace Pioneers, the Fairland Dragons and the Caldwell Redskins.

The Indians are going to have to play hard to even score against the Tigers. However, is far from too late in the season to underestimate Valley. They may still have a chance if they bring their best effort and best attitude, but if they are already counting themselves out they are not likely to recover from the blows dealt their way thus far.

The Indians and the Tigers are set to kick off Friday night at 7 p.m. at Valley.

Nikki Blankenship

[email protected]

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 Ext. 1924

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 Ext. 1924