ASHVILLE — Teays Valley’s varsity football team is leaving 2020 in the past as they work hard this year with eyes fixed at another playoff run.
According to Mark Weber, Vikings’ head football coach, 2020 is a thing of the past as far as he is concerned as he and his host of Vikings prepped during the offseason. Practicing eight weeks during the summer months, it was clear his players had an eagerness to get back out on the gridiron.
“2020 we are putting behind us,” Weber told The Circleville Herald. “We learned a lot [last year] with just adapting and overcoming.”
This season is a special one for his crew commenting on the resiliency of his players. This season, players from all over the state have been placed in quarantine protocols in an effort to hinder the spread of COVID-19. It’s a next man up mentality in Ashville when one Vikings goes out, another takes their place.
Hesitant to name individuals on his team that he thinks will make an impact this season, Weber emphasized that “we are a team.”
Camden McDanel has already made an impact with the team this year serving as a leader on and off the field. Weber added that while he is one of the most experienced, when he’s struggling in game, the head coach is confident another Viking can step up when needed.
While it is easy to look and focus on the team’s specialists, Weber added that it is the offensive line that pays the bills at the end of the day since battles are either won or lost in the trenches.
Going back to last year, the Vikings were able to finally capture their first playoff win. While the pageantry was something special for the people in Ashville, Weber is seemingly unfazed by what had occurred but was glad to see a banner raised at the end of the day.
“Last year the seniors were able to play that’s all I really cared about,” Weber stated adding that the circumstances of last year were less than to be desired.
In May of 2020, the Ohio High School Athletic Association instituted an expansion to its 2020 playoffs letting additional teams compete in the post season. With the newly added teams in the 2020 playoffs, the win for Teays Valley, while still important, left the team wanting more coming into 2021.
“It’s the first playoff win in school history which is a big deal but it’s kind of got a star next to it,” Weber explained.
When looking at the schedule, Weber and his team are taking it one week at a time. One thing is for sure, he has confidence in his team to get the job done after learning from the seniors before them.
“The seniors last year must’ve left a good legacy because these men here have stepped up,” Weber commented.