Era of competing in Marawood ends with loss to Edgar
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports, Nature Editor
A new era for the Tomahawk football program began as the clock ticked to zero Friday night bringing an end to the season as well the Hatchets affiliation in the Marawood, as they join a new conference that does not include perennial powerhouses and state champs Edgar or Stratford next year.
“Success in sports is all too often measured in wins and losses; and while that is part of the reason we play and coach sports, it is not the only indicator of success. The Marawood Conference is one of the elite conferences in the state, and this year is no exception,” stated Hatchet coach Sam Hernandez. “Our schedule featured seven playoff teams and six teams that were ranked by coaches in the Top 10 at some point this season. Two of those teams were ranked #1 at some point during the season. With that in mind, I talked to our team about controlling what we can control. Our preparation was centered around taking care of our business and getting better each day. For the most part our kids were able to do that, despite knowing the level of competition we were facing.”
Those numbers the first year head coach was referring to are simply dumbfounding. They have been for years ever since Tomahawk left the Lumberjack to try and compete in a conference where student enrollment would be more evenly matched. Turned out being the small fish in a big pond isn’t always a bad thing, especially considering the success and state titles Edgar, Stratford and Marathon have been bringing back from Madison over the past several decades. And this year will likely be no exception.
“Our record did not reflect the direction our football program is going after the season. Our weight room numbers were amazing in our post-season max outs, our attendance during the season was over 90 percent and the kids were incredibly positive despite the season record and scoreboard,” coach Hernandez said. “I was blessed with an outstanding group of men to help me coach this year, and our successes would be impossible without their help. Thank you to Jon, Andy, Dave, Zim, Tim, Ryan & Nick. Your work behind the scenes, not just on Friday night, helped to make this season successful.”
The Hatchets lost to Edgar 57-0 Friday at Hatchet Field, but a bigger number stood out on the stat sheet. Logan Bishop once again led the Tomahawk run game (sorry about the “Lance” slip up last week) finishing as the Hatchets’ lead rusher out of the backfield with 87 yards on 17 carries. And the Hatchet defense held the Wildcat offense off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter preventing the score from getting completely out of hand.
“The scoreboard didn’t accurately reflect the way I felt the game went. I challenged our team to leave it all on the field this week, and they answered the call from beginning to end. Edgar is one of the best small school teams in the state, and they are so good at capitalizing on mistakes and they did exactly that tonight,” the coach said in noting he was proud of the way his team approached the game despite having been already eliminated from the playoffs. “During the week of practice it really felt like a pre-playoff week practice and that is a huge credit to the seniors and our team captains.”
A season might have come to an end but a new era began for the Tomahawk football program when the clock hit zero at Hatchet Field Friday. Goodbye Marawood and we can’t wait to join you when the GLFWC season kicks off next fall.