Fifth-ranked Indians enjoy hot start, but ‘won’t get complacent’ [VIDEO]
It’s been nearly a decade since Stephens County has started off this good. You have to go back to 2012 to see where the Indians opened a season 3-0. The current trend has Stephens also ranked #5 in the state, the best ranking since that same 2012 season under Travis Noland.
“We’re definitely excited about it,” says coach Wesley Tankersley, who is in his fourth season over the program. “Not necessarily unusual to start out well for us, but I think for us it’s just trying to continue to get better each and every week.”
Junior star athlete Cam Lacy is more than pleased with the start as well.
“It’s a lot of fun,” adds Lacy. “3-0 is really good. But we can’t get complacent. We have to stay humble and keep working.”
Junior QB Ben Stowe is a large reason for the team’s success, though he’s the first to say he has to thank his O-Line and the troops around him on offense. He also states that the team’s chemistry plays a role in the success.
“Our chemistry is insane,” says Stowe. “We’ve been playing together since we were little. We’ve played with each other and against each other forever. I just love these guys.”
While the offense has generated 35 points per game and has gotten plenty of attention, the defense has also been fantastic, allowing just 10.7 points per game. Both sides, as well as special teams, has contributed heavily to the team’s success. However, there’s another reason for the team carrying some added fuel this season, and that is the way last year’s 5-3 team not getting to finish out the year and play in the state playoffs.
“It definitely has added most of the fuel to the fire,” says Lacy. “Seeing a lot of guys as seniors last year not get the chance to do what we were capable of. It just brings a lot of energy [this year]; we just have to get there.”
The route to the state playoffs will not be easy, as Region 8-AAAA might be the toughest in the entire state. Aside from #5-ranked Stephens, you have #2 Oconee County, #3 Hart County, and #8 Monroe Area, as well as an unbeaten Franklin County team.
“We’ve got to finish, and that’s what we keep preaching to the guys,” says Tankersley. “Not being complacent with the success we’re having now, because that may not be good enough once we get to region play. We have a very tough region. It’s going to be a battle each and every week, and we’ve got to keep trying to improve offensively and defensively every week.”