Taming the Tigers, and Thank You Seniors!
Greetings from the Booth!
Let this sink in…the Shenandoah Hornets are tied for first place in the ODAC. It almost seems surreal to those of us who have followed the ups and downs of SU football since the 2000 restart of the program. Usually at this point of the season, we’re talking about ruining someone else’s season or “building for the future.” We have been stepping stones for other teams who were climbing over us on the way toward a title.
Not this year. After a 4-0 October, and a 4-0 road record, these 2016 Hornets are atop the league. They have been an amazing, resilient bunch, capable of coming back from deficits. Down 13-0 at Emory & Henry, SU found a way to hang in, and started this improbable 4-game winning streak that has them “in the conversation” as we approach the penultimate game of the regular season.
As for the game itself, there should be a playoff atmosphere at Shentel, as the Hampden-Sydney Tigers try to derail the Hornets championship dreams. HSC is one of the most storied programs in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, but are struggling this year at 2-6. Their 2 wins, however, are ODAC wins, and a wounded tiger is the most dangerous. These 2 teams have hooked up for some memorable games, with a Scott Yoder signature win coming several seasons ago that spoiled the Tiger’s Homecoming. Last season H-S survived a furious SU comeback to hold on 38-33.
The Tigers would love nothing more than to make the Hornet’s finale next week in Lexington less meaningful, but I think this Shenandoah team is focused and can handle the moment tomorrow afternoon. The Tigers will put up a fight , but in the end the Dream Season will stay alive yet another week. SU 37, HSC 28.
Finally, it’s Senior Day tomorrow at Shenandoah, as we say thanks to a group of upperclassmen who endured the hot August summers, the extra hours in the weight room, put in the work in the classroom, and have passed their experience and gathered wisdom down to their teammates.
This is an especially meaningful Senior Day for Coach Scott Yoder and his staff, as this is a group of Seniors, many who came to SU when he arrived 4 years ago as the Head Hornet. As Coach Yoder told me in our Wednesday conversation this week, “these guys (the Seniors) came here when all we had was a vision of what this program could be. Our seniors stuck with it for 4 years and are now seeing that vision realized.”
Thanks to the Hornet Seniors for “buying in”! Let’s hope their playing days aren’t quite over yet…
That’s it from the Booth! Enjoy the weekend and good luck to SU tomorrow as they try to make it 5 in a row.