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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Val T.

Valley season in review: ‘It makes you comfortable being uncomfortable:’

After 9-1 season as independent, new conference awaits


Sports Editor, RTC

Despite their 40-7 loss, a flood of fans who traveled from Fulton and Kosciusko counties to Indianapolis to see the Tippecanoe Valley football team stood by and commiserated with their players following their game against top-ranked Chatard last week.

Their season had featured nine straight wins prior to the loss, and they ransacked their opposition in those games, winning all but the Wawasee game by at least 31 points. Unranked at the start of the season, they finished at No. 3 in the final Associated Press Class 3A poll. They also beat Rochester to win the Bell for the fifth straight year.

Players like Nate Parker, Wade Jones, Landon Durkes and Dalton Alber were historically great players and other seniors like Cody Eastgate, Trent Marshall, Bobby Burke, Phillip Smith, Cameron Mason, Issiac Ramsey and Kolyn Grossman emerged as key starters.

All of those players, however, graduate.

Next year’s Valley team will have returnees like Wyatt Hart, Brandon Stiles, Brock Derf, Asher McGriff, Gage Overbey and Grady Moriarty, and they will enter in a new frontier with the formation of the Indiana Northern State Conference.

Their new conference rivals Knox, LaVille, Jimtown, Bremen and John Glenn are a combined 34-16 this year, and Jimtown is the only one of the five that lost their sectional opener last week.

“Every year we go through, and we graduate a lot,” Valley coach Stephen Moriarty said. “We graduated our whole offensive line, and then this year, we came back and rebuilt it. It will take some offseason to realign things, but we’ll be back this year. I don’t know if we’ll be as good, but we’re going to find out.”

Valley is 26-1 in the regular season over the last three years. They have not had a losing season since 2017.

“Anyway, we’ll try to just work in the offseason,” Moriarty said. “A lot of open spots and a lot of opportunities for some young players to get in the weight room and then get those spots.”

Moriarty said Chatard would win the Class 5A state title if they played in that tournament. Chatard has won 16 state titles since 1983. A strong regular season schedule might be necessary in case Valley gets placed in a sectional with Chatard again.

“I think with the schedule that we played this year and the schedule we will play next year will definitely make us a tougher team,” Moriarty said. “I always say it makes you comfortable being uncomfortable. And that’s what it did this year. We came in, and we weren’t shellshocked. We stuck around and did as much as we could. It just wasn’t enough. They overpowered us.”

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