HOBSON — Following three successful seasons with two playoff appearances at the 8-Man football level, the Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap co-op spent last season back in 6-Man, where it stumbled a bit, going 5-4 and missing the playoffs. Head coach Jake Stevenson doesn’t feel like that will be an issue this year.
"There's always a transition year and that's why it's not very fun to go back and forth from six to eight very often," he said. "I feel like we got that out of the way and your kids kind of get used to the nuances of 6-Man. So now that they're all kind of used to it, I think that now they can kind of step up and I feel like we have a good chance at reaching that next level this year just because of the kids that we have."
Stevenson said the Titans will probably stay in 6-Man for the foreseeable future, but he’s got a sizable roster of nearly 20 players this year. Senior Tucker Brown is the lone returning all-conference selection. Brown prefers 8-Man but thinks the Titans have settled back in to 6-Man.
"For me, being a lot bigger, it's just a lot more spread out and fast moving. And then 8-Man, it's just more on the line, blocking and and stuff like that, which I do a lot more of," Brown said. "I think after last year we kind of got the grips of 6-Man back again. We should have a pretty good season I think."
Stevenson said one thing the Titans have going for them during the preseason is that the three communities have been less affected by COVID-19, making things feel somewhat normal.
"We're kind of in a world of our own right now. Like, we don't have to worry about it here, or it seems like it's that way, even though everybody's got it on their minds," he said. "So maybe when we end up traveling somewhere else and see everybody wearing masks everywhere, then they might receive that wakeup call and feel a little more appreciative of what they're getting to do right now."