Lukas Moore --
Phil Faires will be coaching his 26th Trimble football team in the 2019 season. It has been an accomplishment filled 25 years, three regional titles, two state championship appearances, and an utter domination of the TVC-Hocking in most seasons. Faires has adjusted schemes and strategies to fit his players over the years to ensure no Trimble team is a carbon copy of another. From the wishbone to spread, run heavy to pass heavy, the Tomcats have evolved constantly.
There has been one constant in the Faires era. Trimble will hit and hit hard on every play. They'll play with a ferociousness and physicality that's hard to find in the game of football these days. It's old-school how intensely the kids from Glouster swarm the football and annihilate ball carriers and blockers. They wear down most opponents by continuously hitting them, even if they aren't bigger than their opponent, they'll certainly be tougher.
This was on full display in their Monday scrimmage against the Chesapeake Panthers. It wasn't even 25 plays before Chesapeake looked tired of getting hit. The Panthers are a division five school that is 9-11 over their last two seasons. Trimble had its first live look, against solid competition, to see if their team has a chance to meet the lofty expectations that come with returning nearly everybody from a team that played in Canton.
What we already knew
Lukas Moore --
Most coaches tell the media that their goal to start the season is to win the conference. But, new Vikings coach Travis Bethel decided to keep it real, "Vinton County has not had a winning season in 15 years, so to hit that 6-4 or better mark is our goal, then compete for the TVC," he said. It's a refreshing splash of realism from Bethel, who was a member of the last Viking TVC championship in 1999. He brings a balanced coaching staff and is establishing an entire new system on both offense and defense.
Bethel had his staff selected before he was even hired by Vinton County, and he takes over a program primed for a culture change. The Vikings have consistently found ways to lose games, the collapse against Minford a season ago was a prime example. How about the excruciating loss to Nelsonville-York in week nine two seasons ago; Vikings fans assuredly remember then-sophomore Keegan Wilburn catching a last second touchdown at Boston Field.
The first step for Bethel and his staff is eliminating the types of losses that make Vikings fans yearn for basketball season. After watching the Vikings in practice, they'll have a good chance at the TVC-Ohio title, and an even better chance at their first winning season in 15 years.
What we already knew
After easily taking the TVC-Ohio crown and slipping into the playoffs in 2018 the Athens Bulldogs find themselves in an unusual position, a new coach, a new quarterback, and a new line on offense and defense. This has left the TVC licking its chops, knowing that the 'Dogs hold on the title might not be so firm.
Nathan White and the Bulldogs aren't too worried about what the rest of the TVC thinks, and a TVC-Ohio title is always the goal in The Plains. A busy and energetic locker room surrounded White as he handled some of the non-glamorous head coach duties, like taking shirt sizes.
White believes that's the biggest change to his position, handling the "little things". But White, who ran the Athens offense at a historic level, still has his hands all over the Bulldog offense.
What did we already know?