Last year the West Fork Tigers only won five games. Even though it was an improvement of the three wins from the 2012 season, it is still a long way from the back-to-back conference titles of 2010 and 2011.
One of the strengths of the West Fork team is their large junior class. However, they lack the size some of their conference rivals may have.
Second year head coach Brad Lindley knows his West Fork Tigers may lack size but they have one thing you can’t teach, speed.
“We’re not going to be able to lineup and just run people over,” said head coach Brad Lindley. “The things we’ve tried to do is utilize our speed.”
All-state tailback Wyatt Montgomery graduated last year, leaving junior Brayden Burnett with some big shoes to fill.
“It’s going to be tough, he was a great ball player,” said junior running back Brayden Burnett. “All I can do is do my best and lift everybody’s spirit up and I think I can do it.”
“Our philosophy is we evaluate our kids and see what they bring to the table then build our offense and defense around their strengths,” said Lindley. “Wyatt was a power runner, low to the ground, we wanted to get him 20 plus touches a game. Because we don’t have him we don’t try to make someone a new Wyatt.”
With that type of philosophy the players have really bought into coach Lindley’s motto of “Man Up”
“We’ve always had the break up of conference champs but this year we got to dig down deep,” said Burnett. “We lack size, we lack number but I feel like if we can all man up then it doesn’t matter, we can beat any team in the fourth quarter.”
“They’ve bought into his coaching. We’ve been ready to come in every morning,” said senior wide receiver Louie Crawford. “No one has been late for practice so we are ready for the season to start.”
Last year the Tigers were decimated from injuries throughout the season but Lindley is quietly confident that a healthy team this year can return to conference championship glory.