"This is physically the strongest team I've had as a head coach. They are a bunch of weight room junkies."
This was the observation made by Tecumseh Braves head football coach Jeff Daming after watching 12 of his players compete in the South Spencer Weightlifting Competition and have six of them leave the competition winning an award.
The Braves are hoping to use this physical strength to improve on last season's 3-7 record which ultimately ended in a first round sectional loss to eventual Class A IHSAA champion Linton.
The Braves are going to have a lot of holes to fill from last year's team as every senior on the 2016 team was a contributor. This includes losing quarterback Jon Jenkins, wide receiver Tom Pemberton, and the offensive line of Craig Rubolphy, Evan Bailey, and Jeremy Mckinley.
While these losses are significant, the future looks bright for the Braves as many of these players who graduated will be replaced by sophomores.
These players include corner backs Dustin Dupont and Griffin Tuley (Tuley is also the back-up quarterback) along with linemen Jon Jackson, Baron Jones, and Blaine Asher. Jackson, Jones, and Asher will all play both offensive and defensive linemen. The Braves will still have some upper classmen who will be contributors as well.
Quarterbacking the Braves will be senior Tanner Brammeier who sat out most of last year with a broken collar bone. Other seniors include three-year starter running back Deacon Parker, running back and linebacker Ian Seim, linemen Alex Minton and Drew Roth, and wide receiver Max Letterman.
This could be a sentimental year for the Tecumseh Braves' football program as theoretically this could be the last season they'll play at the old stadium. The old stadium is located where the old Tecumseh High School was but a new stadium was never built until now. The new stadium the Braves will play at will be located on the school's campus.
As for the upcoming season, Daming has high hopes for this team.
"I feel like the overall football IQ of the team has improved," he said.