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Tigers host Southeast after canceling last 2 games

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

There is no way to prepare for the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, especially when it comes to missing games during the regular season. The Ardmore High School football team was thrown a curveball a little over two weeks ago when the Tigers had to cancel a pair of games, but the experience wasn’t wasted.

“What it teaches you is this can be taken away from you at any point in time,” said Ardmore head coach Josh Newby. “So you better appreciate it and you better cherish every minute you have with these young men.”

Newby and his staff haven't been able to do that in quite some time. The Tigers were expected to return to practice on Saturday, Sept. 19, but the isolation time was changed. And that gave Ardmore little time to prepare for their district opener at home against Southeast at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.

“When the health department quarantined us, it was from two weeks ago on a Tuesday,” Newby said. “So (Wednesday was) the first day (we were) able to come back. … We’re just having to do what we have to do.”

The lack of time could be something to complain about, but the Tigers are taking the high ground and keeping their mindset on getting back to work.

“It’s not ideal, but our kids know the system,” Newby said. “We plan on executing it (at practice) and playing Friday night with confidence.”

However, it might seem that Ardmore’s coaching staff could have spent the extra time preparing for its opponent this week. But that’s not the case as the two squads didn’t trade film until this past weekend.

“We’ve had a few days to get ready for Southeast,” Newby said. “It’s not an ideal situation, but we’re going to do the best we can.”

The Tigers will likely lean on the ground game after racking up more than 250 yards on the ground in a season-opening win over Ada.

Antone Scallion led the way with 117 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while Donald May, Khaleel McGee and Eric Fields also helped the Tigers control the clock. However, Ardmore sophomore quarterback Cal Swanson could also take big strides after two weeks of preparation on his own.

Only time will tell what happens on the field, but the Tigers have already proven they can overcome difficult situations.

“Our kids are good at handling adversity and we’re going to find out Friday night on two days of preparation,” Newby said.

That adversity has stuck Ardmore again, as its game next week at Altus has been postponed. However, it could be rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 19, but there's no official word yet.

"I’m still waiting on a response from the Altus administration," Newby said. "Altus is on quarantine until Oct. 6."