Memorial football program works on ‘mental toughness’ in preparation for 4A sectional championship

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 10:53 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Memorial Tigers are one of the last Tri-State teams standing on the IHSAA road to state, and they are no strangers to the sectional championship game.

Before last season’s loss to central, the Tigers won four-straight sectional championships, three in class 3A and one in 4A. So far, they have 14 sectional crowns.

“Feels great to be one of the few teams remaining in this part of the state,” Memorial senior cornerback Connor Agler said. “We’d like to keep winning and get to be that last team standing.”

Friday night, they shutout the Bears 35-0, but head coach John Hurley has higher expectations for his team

“Defensively we played well, but as a total, we had 13 penalties I think,” Hurley said. “Those are things we got to clean up if we want to continue.”

“We always have to flip to the next page no matter what happens, if we make a mistake,” Memorial senior wide receiver Dominic Norman said.

Now, the focus is on Northview. The Tigers defeated the Knights the past two seasons. In 2019, Hurley’s squad took a road trip to Brazil, which he said is an advantage for preparation purposes. He said the main focus this week is getting the team dialed in mentally.

“You’re going to have colder weather, a longer bus ride to places, things that could be distractions,” Agler said. “But if you’re mentally tough, you’ll be able to focus and not make as many mistakes during the game if you’re really focused in on that all week.”

“Northview is a team that can be explosive and they’ve had big chunk plays. I think they had seven 20 plus yard plays against Reitz, against Jasper I think they had six, so we have got to eliminate the big chunk plays that they have,” Hurley said. “We have to be able to play defense and stop the run, and have got to be able to make some plays offensively. If we can do those things, we’ll find success.”

The Tigers head to Northview for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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