CHESAPEAKE- If you’re an Oscar Smith Football fan who is worried whether or not the Tigers have forgotten what Centreville did to them last year in the Group 6A Football finals loss, worry not. In fact, the Tigers head coach Richard Morgan has kept the 35-6 defeat fresh in his memory. He refuses to let is players forget any part of what happened that day several months later.
“We have to have a little motivation in the off season; so our locker room and weight room are decorated with motivation,” said Morgan. “[There are] Lots of things from the state championship game so that people not need to forget. They need to burn it in their memory and not forget.” When asked if it was safe to say the players were already sick of it, the coach responded by saying “yeah, they are, but that’s okay because I’m sick of the way we played last year. It’s been a long 8 months. I’ve been sick for 8 months”.
While the Oscar Smith players may be sick of it as well, they seem to be buying into their coach’s philosophy of ‘never forget’. Shon Mitchell, the Tigers quarterback numbers among them. “It was a little upsetting, but it quickly became motivation for the season,” said the rising sophomore. “Going into the locker room and looking at all that stuff-it’s depressing. You really don’t want to look at it, but you know in the back of your mind, we're’e Smith. We don’t get beat like that.” It is clear that the Tigers quarterback has the resolve to bounce back from last season that his coach aimed to evoke out of his players.
Other players have found the motivation in Coach Morgan’s inspirational techniques as well, such as Defensive End Josh Sweat who said that he’s sick of seeing everything in the weight rooms and constantly being reminded as well, but said that “we deserve it by the way we played”, and that “Most Definitely we need to get it together. Seeing it just reminds us and it definitely drives us.”
The Tigers are looking forward as well, not just back, however, and they plan on coming back with a strong team this season. To turn things around, Oscar Smith will rely on the quick feet of their running back, Virginia Tech bound Desawn McClease. “They’re going to see a better disciplined Oscar team focusing on the states, by far.” said the running back, “we have got our whole defensive. We have our whole starting line back. We have some receivers, we have our quarterback.”
8 months later it would appear that the Tigers are more than ready to face the season ahead with fresh heads, and motivated spirits, never forgetting last year’s loss. Coach Morgan has hardened his team for the challenges ahead and it will be exciting to see what his team is capable of on the field this fall.