SALEM, MO - Entering his 32ndseason as the Tiger’s head coach, Bill Schuchardt has adopted a very simple mindset when it comes to the meaning of a football game. “At my age, every game I play is a big game” remarks the 62 year old Schuchardt.
The games should have no problem living up to the “big” expectations the coach places on them this season as the team believes they have a little something to prove after last year’s 5-5 record. Coach Schuchardt explains that mistakes on special teams cost them four of their five losses last year. That’s one aspect of the game making the difference between 5-5 and 9-1. Needless to say, Schuchardt is making sure his special teams units get plenty of work in this preseason.
Seven varsity starters will be returning this year. Brady Floyd will have his first shot to start as the varsity quarterback, but will also be returning to play corner where he earned All-Conference honorable mention last season. Jake Wisdom, who earned 2nd team all-conference in 2011 will return to his left guard position and Lane Stluka with return to play both split end and defensive end. Also returning will be Hunter Barnes at strong safety, Jessie Dodd and linebacker, Cody Moore and center and Cordell Tatom on the offensive line.
Their greatest strength will be the consistency of the offensive line as they return 3 of their 5 starters. The biggest question mark resides behind that offensive line with a back field that has zero experience playing on Friday nights.
“Improve every week” is one of the goals that Schuchardt tosses out when asked about expectations for this season. There might be some mistakes early, but with this rule in mind the team plans to iron these mistakes out and avoid them the next time around. If the 9-1 prediction for what last year could have been is accurate, then a Salem team that is able to avoid simple mental errors could be one of the best teams in the South Central Association this year.