The Valley Indians football program has been lead by head coach Darren Crabtree for the last twenty-nine seasons. There have been highs and lows across Crabtree’s tenure as the head of the program, as any program has in high school athletics. This Indians team is hoping to make the 2018 campaign one of the more memorable in Crabtree’s twenty-nine seasons.
The Indians will be returning some key players and seniors on this year’s team, including Darren Crabtree’s son, Nick, who will be a senior offensive lineman this season. The son of a coach has always been raised around the game their parent coaches, and Nick Crabtree is no different. “My dad’s been football coach here for twenty-nine years” said Crabtree, “It’s just always been a tradition for me to come here (Valley’s football complex). I’ve been here for every football game, probably ever. It’s just exciting for me to be a senior, and to do it for my teammates and for him (his father, Darren).”
Nick says that as his senior year progresses, he has become more of a leader for his teammates to look to on and off the field, “We’ve really tried to push each other” said Crabtree, “We’re just trying to get some more wins this year, trying to do it for each other since it’ll be our last chance to play together. We’re just excited.”
Valley finished the 2017 season with a 3-7 record, hoping that the 2018 season will bare different results in the wins and losses column. Senior running back Gabe Streeter says that he and his teammates have worked hard this offseason to ensure they improve on last year’s record. “We’re really looking forward for that first game,” said Streeter, “Coach has pushed us pretty hard so far this year, we’re going to be a lot better.”
Senior wide receiver Tanner Spradlin is confident in his team’s ability to win games as a result of the effort and hard work they’ve put in during the offseason. “Last year, we didn’t get a lot of wins” said Spradlin, “But I feel like this year we have the talent, and the coaching staff that we can get some wins this season and succeed at a lot of things.”
The returning starting quarterback for the Indians will be senior Andrew Shope. Shope knows that with winning comes support, and he is hoping that his team will be able to draw a lot of interest in their season, “I really want to get more wins than last year” said Shope, “Since it’s my last season, as a Valley Indian, I’d like to get our community back into it and really represent well.”
Although the seniors from Lucasville cannot wait for their senior season to start a week from today, there wasn’t a specific game that stuck out in their minds as one they were looking forward to. “Right now, I’m just focused on getting that 1-0 against Portsmouth,” said Spradlin. Streeter agreed with Spradlin, “Right now I’m just worried about the first game, that’s all the matters now. Whether we win or not, we’re just going to keep pushing it.
The Valley Indians open their season a week from today at home against the Portsmouth Trojans, with kickoff at 7 p.m.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @JacobSmithPDT