2021 36 Blitz: Tates Creek Commodores
LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – In 2019, the Tates creek Commodores made it all the way to semi-state, but key players from that team would graduate and Last season was a struggle. They went 0-6. A big reason? Youth.
“Well, last year we started 5 freshmen across the board,” says Head Coach Jon Smith. “We had a young team you know and with COVID last year getting such a slow start with such a young team. We had 14 days to get ready for our first game so it didn’t really give us a whole lot of time to prepare, but I feel like as the season progressed we got better. We went into the first round and gave Dunbar all they wanted and that and they moved on to the final four also. So I feel like we’re trending in the right direction.”
For some of the older guys on the team, they know what it feels like to win. Making last season even tougher.
“I was a sophomore when we were like really good and I don’t know it’s just like a big difference,” said senior offensive lineman Josue Araniva. “It just sucks, but it also kinda helped me because it makes me want to work harder. Just like if you’re tasted it and now that you’re like at the bottom only way to go up. It just makes me want to dig harder and fight harder.”
“You learn that you have to step up at the biggest moments and lead the team when nobody else wanted to,” says Ke’shon Douthitt.
Sometimes that means leasing by example.
“Just once one person does it, everybody follows,” says Araniva. “Even if that one person isn’t a leader. If you just see that one person, at least for me I strive to better. So if I see somebody better than me I’m like naw I gotta… c’mon c’mon. So then I bring energy, somebody else brings energy. We just one up each other and that’s how you gotta get better and win games.”
Coach Jon Smith says players have also been able to bond and hang out off the field. Something they couldn’t do last season due to the pandemic.
“It’s tremendous especially with still a young team,” says Coach Smith. “We’re looking to start maybe 5 or 6 sophomores this next season so being able to introduce everything slower than having to go such a fast pace to get ready for the first game. It’s been a tremendous success.”
As this senior class looks to lead a group of young Commodores into the season, they know they have some steps to take and they’re ready to do it. And also make sure this senior class is remembered for one thing.
“I’m just trying to leave a good impression,” says Araniva. “That’s it. I’m not.. I don’t need to leave like a huge name. I just want to be like that one year they just went from nothing to something.”