Indians seeking first win

Nikki Blankenship - [email protected]

Week 3 of the season in bringing two young teams together that are fairly evenly matched. The Valley Indians will be facing the Piketon Redstreaks Friday in week 3. Both teams have been playing a lot of sophomores and suffering on the field because of lack of experience.

“Obviously, we want to come out with our first big win against Piketon,” Valley Coach Darren Crabtree stated about his aspirations for this week’s game. Crabtree stressed that his players need to continue to practice and come out with the right attitude. He refuses to let lack of experience be the determinate of the 2016 season.

The Indians have played two games and three scrimmages. Though they have lost both games, they won a scrimmage against Vinton County last week, showing that their hard work has been playing off. Still, there is much work left for the Indians. “We have been working on getting back to the basics, better at the fundamentals of the game,” Crabtree commented. This season, Valley has been starting seven or eight sophomores each game. Defensively, they have given up a couple big plays, allowing easy touchdowns for their competitors. Offensively, the Indians need to work on establishing control of the line of scrimmage. Crabtree is confident that if his team can work on those two major things, they will stand a real chance against the Redstreaks. “But if we don’t do a better job blocking, it’s going to be a long night,” said Crabtree.

Despite being a young team, Crabtree will not let his Indians get discouraged because of inexperience. “We can throw that excuse out the window and should at some point,” he stated. Crabtree continued by stating that after two games and three scrimmages, the Indians do have some experience and need to get rid of the mentality that they can’t win. “We need to come out with the intensity it takes to win a ball game and the confidence to know we can,” Crabtree stated. Though the coach says his team did not come out with this attitude the first few games, a little change in their mindset could make a big difference in this game.

Piketon Coach Tyler Gullion is also looking for a win this week. They are not going to easily had that win over to Valley. “It’s going to be a very competitive game,” he stated. “Both teams play a lot of young kids and both teams start a lot of freshmen.”

Piketon graduated 15 seniors from the 2015 season, seniors that Coach Gullion says played often and were valuable to the team. This year, Gullion has one player returning on the offensive line and two players returning on the defensive line. He is starting eight to nine sophomores each game.

Gullion is expecting to see a strong game come from the Redstreaks. “There was a big improvement between week one and week two,” the Piketon coach stated. “It just takes time.”

Repetition has been the key to Redstreak improvement. “What’s been good for us is most of our boys don’t have to play both,” Gullion stated. “It’s good for young players to only have to play one when they are learning.”

If both teams are able to correct their mistakes and come out stronger in this game, it should be an exciting Friday night. The Indians and Redstreaks are both hungry for a win and will fight to get one. The Valley Indians and the Piketon Redstreaks will kick off at 7 p.m. at Piketon. The winner of the match just may be setting a new tone to the remainder of the season.

Nikki Blankenship

[email protected]

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

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

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