After three years straight of going to the playoffs, the Simms Tigers post-season hopes are hanging on by a thread. With many new players, coaches say they expected a transition period.
"We're going through some growing pains with the young kids, which is fine," said head coach Eric Dirk. "I think we're still going in a positive direction, and those young kids are learning, so that's a good thing."
Experienced players have tried to teach their newer teammates that regardless of what's on the scoreboard...playing your best is the most important thing.
"My main goal is for us as a team to play as a team and for us to not get down on ourselves when stuff does not happen our way," said senior linebacker Colton Like. "I just want to show the younger kids that this year should be like a learning year."
Perhaps the biggest transition for the Tigers has been the injury to starting quarterback Colton Hillyard, which forced former corner Blayne Kohut under center to lead Simms against Hays-Lodge Pole.
"it's pretty crazy being a sophomore and having to go out and lead, but I think I can do it," said Kohut. "We've had some good leaders on this team who have helped to build me up and get ready for something like this to happen."
Although the Tigers might be learning and rebuilding, that doesn't mean they don't expect to compete for a playoff spot.
"I've always had hope for Simms," said Like. "I know we can beat Hays Lodge Pole, and I know Cascade's gonna be a hard game, but we have the opportunity to win."
"We just gotta keep spirits up," said Coach Dirk. "Believe in the kids, believe in the program, no matter what happens, go out there and compete and win each play."
The Tigers will be right in that postseason conversation if they can get 2 more wins this season.