Waite takes on Bowsher at the Glass Bowl

Yaneek Smith

Press Contributing Writer

At first glance, it would appear that Waite is having a rough season.
Yes, the Indians are 0-4, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t played well at times this year and challenged their opponents. The combined record of Waite’s four opponents is 11-5, and two of them — Southview and Carey — are undefeated. Aside from the loss to the Cougars, the Indians have been competitive in every game. The other two losses were against Northview (33-14) and Brunswick (48-12).
Coach Aaron Peacock scheduled those difficult games, which includes playing Tiffin Columbian before entering City League play, because he felt like his club could compete.
“I truly thought we had a chance to compete and win these games,” he said. “It comes down to experience, it didn’t play out like I thought (it would). Against Northview, a few things went bad in the second half, and against Carey, we had a touchdown called back right before halftime. We trailed 15-6 at the half.
“We haven’t played two full halves of football. We have a lot of young guys that haven’t been playing in those (critical) situations yet. We’re trying to build team chemistry; we have some freshmen who are starting and might have to learn a little bit faster than normal.”
Carey, which won the Division IV state championship last year, is having another great season. The Blue Devils are currently ranked first in the Region 22 standings with 7.10 points, and Southview is sixth in Div. II, Region 6 with 6.48 points. Brunswick is a Div. I school and has one win but is coming off a season that saw them qualify for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are 2-2.
The Indians begin league play against Bowsher, which is 0-4, on Friday at the Glass Bowl. It will be a special opportunity for the players to compete at the University of Toledo in front of their fans.
“It gives our guys a chance to see the college atmosphere,” said Peacock, a 1998 graduate of Waite. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us.”
The Indians beat the Blue Racers, 47-29, last year.
Peacock talked about Bowsher and the last few times the teams have met.
“They were strong in 2020 and had a lot of seniors that year. Last year, we pretty much had a better team that put up enough points to get a playoff spot,” he said. “They’ve been competitive every year that we’ve played them.”
Quarterback Taylor Jones leads the offense and is joined in the backfield by Taveon Brandon. Jones’ top receivers are DeAndre Hood, Lewis Hart, Mi’quan Walker and Kevion Lee.
“Taylor is having his ups and downs. It’s different because we’ve had so many experienced receivers in the past, and the young guys are trying to learn the offense,” Peacock said. “I think he’s on pace for a good year. We have to put those young guys in (the right) place and know what (it takes) to be successful.”
Last year, Waite went 4-5 — two games were cancelled — and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the OHSAA sanctioned postseason play in ’72. The Indians lost to Medina Highland, the No. 1 team in Region 6, but it was an accomplishment that one would hope could be a sign of things to come. Waite finished 4-1 in the City League but lost the tiebreaker to Start because the Spartans beat the Indians, 34-15, in week seven.
More than anything, Waite, which was picked to win the conference, is hoping to win an outright title for the first time since ’63.
“We’re hoping to put on a good show and be competitive in the City League and change the narrative,” Peacock said. “Start has won it the last two years. We want to put our name on the trophy this year.”
Peacock, who played football, basketball and ran track during his time in high school, talked about the pride he has representing his alma mater.
“I say that every day that I get to grace the field, I think it’s high up on my Mount Rushmore to be able to coach at my alma mater and be at year three of that. It’s a blessing, I represent Waite to the fullest. I want it to mean so much for (the players),” he said.


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