Once you’re at the brink of ultimate success, you develop an itch for it.
That’s how Snowflake’s football team feels after falling to Lakeside Blue Ridge last year in the Division IV state semifinals.
Coach Ron Tenney was and is proud of the 2012 campaign but says it fuels the fire for this season.
“By some accounts, we had a very successful season last year — making it all the way to the state semifinals,” Tenney said. “However, if a team becomes satisfied with that, then it is easy to become complacent and not strive to be better.
“We won’t be happy until we bring home a gold football.”
The coveted gold football is the reward of winning the big one: a state championship.
Snowflake has been on the heels of making it to the big show for the past five seasons — the semifinals twice and the quarterfinals another three times.
But the goal remains the same year in and year out.
“We try to approach each season the same — consistency helps build a program and communicates to players the same expectations,” Tenney said.
However, the mindset for Snowflake has been altered for 2013.
“The main difference is our focus on team and team unity,” Tenney said. “We don’t have as many athletes this year, but we have a greater majority of our players this year working hard in the off-season, (in) the weight room and at practice. Last year we only had a handful of players that really devoted themselves to the sport.”
One of those players is senior quarterback Ty Reidhead.
The 6-foot-1, 191-pound Reidhead was sidelined with an ACL injury for a majority of the 2012 season, but since his return has led his team to the best start (3-0) in three seasons.
“Ty has done a phenomenal job taking over as a quarterback,” Tenney said. “He is one of our senior captains and is very committed to the success of our team.
“You’d be hard pressed to find someone that out works Ty.”
Through three games, Reidhead has thrown for 426 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s run for another 252 yards and six touchdowns, thus accounting for nearly half of Snowflake’s points scored.
Tenney is hopeful the team’s success can sustain itself through their tough conference games, but he knows just playing hard can’t get it done in Division IV.
“Snowflake’s identity this season proves that ‘hard work’ doesn’t guarantee you anything, but without it, you don’t stand a chance,” he said. “Football can be fun when players rally around each other and work together for the success of the team.
“Every season our goal is to bring home the coveted gold football. If that isn’t the case, then why are we here?”