Tompkins High School opened in 2013, but football success wasn’t immediate for the Falcons. In fact, they had won just 5 games in school history heading into last season. But after an 0-9 campaign in 2017, the Falcons went to work in the off-season, and focused on creating an attitude of positivity, improvement, and work ethic.
Hayden Burke, SR OL: Culture, by far culture, the system of buying in and being all-in
RJ Smith, SR RB : We’ve really just bought in, that’s been the key to all the success, just buying in and doing what coach says and just believing
Pryce Powell, SR DB: Everyone’s bought in to what we’re doing, the weight room’s been a big part of that, and we’re just gonna keep buying in and going 1-0 each day
McVey: I love these guys, they’ve done a great job for us, they’ve gone from here and worked their way up, that 0-9 was part of the base of our house as we started to build it, and those guys are a part of this, right now, still, bc they’re the base of what we’re building off of and worked extremely hard for these guys to have the success they’re having now
Tompkins has 19 wins and counting over the last seasons and the Falcons are ranked 20th in the state in Class 6A after a 9-1 regular season. But this program is taking all of that success in stride and simply focusing on the present.
Todd McVey, HC :10 1% better everyday and a 1-0 mentality in everything we do, we don’t really worry about the future, the past, just want to get better and 1-0 in each and everything that we do
RJ Smith, SR RB : 1-0 everyday, no matter what we’re doing, say we’re lifting, 1-0 in the weight room, just 1-0 everyday
This senior class shares a unique bond. Not many groups can say they’ve experienced the depths of a winless season and the peaks of earning the school’s first two playoff wins, and that’s forged a family atmosphere few programs can replicate.
Hayden Burke, SR OL :35 I think it’s the bond, this group of kids, we’ve played together on varsity since that 0-9 year, we’ve been through the struggle and now we’re just all together and so much more closer as a unit
Pryce Powell, SR DB : What’s different about this year, I feel like we’re a lot closer, we’re a lot more like a family this year than the past couple, most of us have gotten to know each other the last couple years, and now it’s our last year, I feel like we’re a lot closer than we have been
Mcvey: The team mentality and the family they want to be a part of, we talk family all the time, and being a brotherhood, they’ve bought into that as well, and when the kids buy in, that’s less that I have to do, and that’s the culture change that they’ve bought into
Now the Falcons prepare for their second straight playoff trip, and can draw upon the experience of reaching the third round a year ago.
Hayden Burke, SR OL : Big-time pressure games don’t affect us as much bc we’ve been in some like that, we’ve gone and played at NRG and that’s not a problem anymore
McVey: That was last year as we like to say, we have to do it all over again, it’s harder bc it’s different, you have a target on your back now, the expectations are higher, but that’s what they’ve wanted, and I told them if you want that, then you have to keep taking that next step, we say success around here is a staircase, not a straight line, every once in a while you may fall back on that staircase but we’re gonna take a step at a time and just build from each step