TISDALE — In its first road game of the season, the Tisdale Middle & Secondary School football team took care of business to stay undefeated.
The Tornados beat its host, the Churchill Community High School of La Ronge, 54-6 last Friday. The victory kept TMSS perfect at 4-0 with two regular season contests left to play.
“We just played our game,” Tornados head coach Keenan Carrier said. “We focused on ourselves. We were running the ball well. We were passing the ball well. We really spread out our offence and got everybody involved a little bit.
“Then, on defence, just doing the things we know we can do – staying with our guys and knowing we got to play low, play fast.”
The long road trip to La Ronge provided bonding time for the Tornados. When the two teams clashed earlier in the season, Tisdale prevailed, 78-0, but Carrier felt his team started slowly in that contest.
“We kind of pride ourselves on taking it one game at a time and getting better every time we hit the field,” Carrier said. “Our goal was to fix the slow start we had against La Ronge last time. That’s tough to do after a four-hour bus ride. Kudos to our leadership group and kudos to our Grade 12s for really stepping up and making sure everybody was ready and prepared so that we didn’t have that slow start.”
The Tornados head to Nipawin this Friday afternoon to play L.P. Miller Comprehensive School. TMSS won 46-14 in the season opener for both teams.
“Just like us, they’re getting better every single day,” Carrier said. “They had a better showing against Melfort than they did the first time. I definitely expect a team that will play hard and be hungry for a win against us.
After about a month and a half of football, Carrier said players are prepared physically but it is that mental aspect …
“Making sure the kids absolutely know 100 per cent where they got to be and when they got to be there,” he said. “Just trusting in each other that everybody is going to do their job and make the plays they need to make.”
Last Saturday, the TMSS Grade 9 and 10 players competed in a junior football jamboree against Melfort and Unit Comprehensive Collegiate and the host Humboldt Collegiate Institute. In La Ronge the previous night, the Tornados’ younger players saw increased playing time halfway through the third quarter and onward.
“They got some senior game experience that day and I think that translated to a good showing the next day in Humboldt. They got the whole day to focus on themselves,” Carrier said. “I was super impressed. We usually go to these jamborees with fewer players than other towns. Just the heart and grit of these kids – showing up, giving their all, and doing what they’re supposed to do. I couldn’t be more proud of the up and comers. It bodes well for the future of Tornados football.”