When there’s not a lot of winning in place, things can be tough. For Circle head coach Logan Clothier, the hill to climb is high but his expectations are higher.
Circle football has not been the best versions of themselves over the last decade or so. Multiple winless seasons and just two seasons ago they only scored in double digits three times.
“We’ve started building some- thing here,” Clothier said. “If we can continue to get the kids to buy-in, we’ll be able to keep this going into the right direction.”
By having kids committed in the locker room and the weight room is key for Circle turning the ship around. There were over 50 players out at the first day of practice. You saw some of it happen last season as the Thunderbirds won two games for the first time since 2011. Wins over Rose Hill and Independence gave them momentum heading into this season.
Circle is going to take some lumps, they’re young. They’re fast and their defense is solid. Despite the lack of offense, Circle has been able to slow down some solid offenses. Luke McGinnis, Jacob Garbee are two underclassmen who the defense tends to rely on.
“We have a lot of sophomores this summer,” Clothier said. “The turn out has been really good.”
Unlike college athletics, you cannot just recruit your way out of a bad situation. You have to groom from the little leagues up, in hopes of the kids catching on and being able to turn it around.
The Towanda community is behind Circle. The stands are usually full of friends, family and alumni out to support the Thunderbirds.
“We’ve been in situations to win,” Clothier said. “It’s just getting the right things done and believing in yourself.”
Case and point: two years ago, Circle led for a majority of the first half against Andover Central. Circle would eventually lose the game. Players looking at the scoreboard and not used to being in a situation on how to control a game with the lead.
“With preparation comes confidence,” Clothier said.
They continue to try and battle against a tough conference. Anyone who’s met Clothier can attest to confidence as a coach he brings. There’s some moxie he brings to Circle and it’s the right feeling not of if he’s going to turn this around but when.