East Ridge Has High Hopes For the Season and an Assistant Coach
East Ridge-(WDEF) East Ridge was anxious to put on the pads for the first time on Monday.
The Pioneers have high hopes for this year.
But they’re hoping one of their assistant coaches winds up with an even better year.
Said quarterback Jo Jo Tillery,"I’m just ready to hear some pads clacking."
And plenty of pads were clacking at East Ridge.
Reporter-"66 kids on the roster. Is that good for East Ridge?"
Said head coach Tracy Malone,"That’s huge for us. When I got here a couple of years ago, the goal was to have 15 per class. We wanted 15 in each grade level, so we’re at 66 right now."
With 15 starters back, including senior quarterback Jo Jo Tillery.
East Ridge was picked to win their district.
Said Malone,"Yeah, we’re at a point where we want to win a district championship. I think everybody does, and we want to as well. Nobody’s goal is to go 5-5. Our goal is to win every game we play. Can we? I don’t know. Like I said at media day, I think we’ll be in them all."
Said Tillery,"We just want to do something that East Ridge has never done before. We want to host a playoff game, and hopefully make it to the second round."
But winning a district title will not be the biggest battle for East Ridge this season.
Assistant coach Austin Roden is fighting brain cancer…for the second time.
Said Malone,"But it’s going to draw us together. I think our kids will draw strength from it. He was admitted into the hospital this weekend, and he’ll start chemo this week."
Said linebacker Monquel Hughes,"That’s a real ugly thing to see. Somebody to have that at a young age. We are all praying for Coach Roden. We dedicate all of this we’re doing out here to him.’
Added Malone,"As a husband and a dad, I look at my two kids and I think, if that happened to me. You’ve got to be strong for your family. It smacks you in the face and makes you realize that life is way more important than football.">