Southview prepares for another NLL title runWritten by CJ Joshua | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Mayzes has been the head football coach at Southview High School for 17 years.
For the Cougars, winning the Northern Lakes League (NLL) championship this year would give them 10 league titles, all under Mayzes. A title this year would also give the team four in a row, meaning this year’s seniors will have won every year throughout high school careers.
In fact, Southview has won three titles in a row three different times, but the team has never won four titles in a row.
This season, Southview will need strong, dedicated team players and an experienced coach to reach that goal.
“This season, I am expecting my leading players of the team to be good leaders with great effort and make good choices. Winning the 10th title is just as important as winning the first title for me,” Mayzes said.
“I like to win championships; I think everybody does, so if we win the NLL 10th championship, we will be pleased that we won and we will have achieved a sense of accomplishment.”
The Cougars lost six offensive and six defensive starters to graduation, but they have five starters back on both sides of the ball this season.
Several players participate in other sports such as basketball, track, lacrosse and baseball. “We promote kids playing other sports,” Mayzes said.
Junior Allen Gant plays strong safety and wide receiver, but pulled his hamstring early last season and was forced to sit on the sidelines and watch his team win the NLL before missing the state playoffs.
“I believe we will have a great season this year,” Gant said. “My motivation is making it back to the playoffs because we weren’t able to get into the playoffs last season. With us losing last year, that motivates us to come together and become a better football team this season. Coach makes sure we give 100 percent and do a good job out on the field.”
Juggling track, basketball and football, senior quarterback and safety DeNard Pinckney insists that it is not difficult to play all three sports in high school.
“It is all about prioritizing my time and utilizing every second that I get for each individual sport,” Pinckney said. “It’s not that hard. Last year was my first year playing quarterback for the team and I could see how I grew over the season as the leader of our team. Being quarterback, you are always looked to as the go-to guy.”
Pinckney and Gant were both on the state championship team in 2008. Southview aims to win the NLL this season, but the team’s focus will be on going all the way to win another state championship.
“Coach Mayzes is one of the most motivating people I know; he’s always as hyped up about football as we are, and he’s not wearing the pads,” Pinckney said. “You can tell how much he loves the sport, and he portrays that every day by coaching his heart out. He definitely rubs off on us in a positive way. We all have a lot of respect for Coach Mayzes.”