SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – The Springfield Tigers football team has enjoyed back-to-back remarkable seasons. Four players from their state runner-up teams will get the opportunity to enjoy being teammates once again.
Austin Tindell, Clayton Nezbeth, Clay Medvec and Brady Brungard will all get to play one last time together in the 42nd Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic on Thursday, June 24 at East Liverpool’s Patterson Field.
“It was very competitive, very much going all out and being prepared,” Tindell said of playing for the Tigers the past four years. “We played how we practiced. We played hard and did everything we could.”
“It was a great experience, watching all the people before us and learning from them,” Nezbeth added. “We watched what they did to be successful and then taking after them.”
In their four-year careers at Springfield, the four all-stars played in 47 games, going an amazing 41-6 in those years. They went 9-1 in 2018 without qualifying for the playoffs and then have appeared in the Division VI State Championship Game in both 2019 and 2020.
“Going into our senior year after we went to the championship game in 2019 and lost state, we had a chip on our shoulder to go back and win it. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted, but at least we got back there. It was truly a great experience,” Nezbeth said.
That hard work and dedication have helped all four of the Tigers players receive both team and individual awards. Being named to the Ohio All-Star team is a special one in the accolades they received.
“I’m very grateful to be named to this All-Star team because to be able to play with the best in Ohio is amazing,” Nezbeth said.
“It means a lot to me,” Tindell said. “Especially to play one more game if I don’t go to college. To be on a team with the best out of every school here is special.”
A bonus for the Tigers players is the opportunity to line up side-by-side with their high school teammates. One last time.
“It’s both exciting and meaningful to play with some of my teammates at least one more time. I’m going to make the best of it,” Tindell said of the weight the game has.
“In a way, it takes some pressure off because it seems like another game where I’m with all my friends that I have grown up with and played with since I was a little kid,” Nezbeth said about having three teammates on the squad.
The four will also get a chance to make new friends out of old enemies during their two weeks of practice and in the game Thursday night.
“We kind of put all of that stuff behind us now,” Nezbeth said of having former rivals on the team. “I’m glad I had a chance to play against them, and now we have the best of the best out here.”
The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday with player introductions at 6:30 p.m. The gates at Patterson Field will open at 5:30 p.m.