Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

December 1, 2013

Tipton's seniors set a new standard

They helped Devils to four straight sectional titles, trip to state.

INDIANAPOLIS — It wasn't the way they wanted to go out, but it won't be the way they're remembered, either.

The 15 seniors on Tipton's football team exited on a sour note in Saturday's Class 2A state finals, a 56-6 loss at the hands of Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, in a contest that snowballed out of control on the Blue Devils.

But, coach Aaron Tolle was certain of this: The outcome would do nothing to take away from the legacy of a class that was more successful than any other in program history.

“They’re a group of kids that are the reason we do what we do: Stay after school every day, lift weights, practice, stay there until all hours of the night," Tolle said. "Coaching those kind of kids … are what make it worth what I do. I expect our future kids to act and behave exactly like this outgoing group of seniors has."

The Blue Devils went 38-16 during the class's four seasons, claiming four straight sectional championships, a feat that hadn't previously been accomplished. The team fell to the eventual 2A state champion each year, losing to Fort Wayne Bishop Luers in the regional round on 2010, '11 and '12 before succumbing to Ritter Saturday in the finals.

"We have a good team in there," running back Nate Hein said. "It was a pleasure to play with these guys. We go to 'The Rock' every year and pass down things, and the special things will always be there. We always leave a little part of the seniors, and I'm sure [the returners] will carry it on.

"Coach Tolle said it best: 'You guys might not have had a good day [Saturday], but the past four years have been great with us.' We've done so many great things. [Saturday] may not have gone our way, but it was a great ride."

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