EAST TAMPA – Middleton High School and their football team are ready for a turnaround. Since Harry Hubbard and Jason Stokes led the Tigers to a combined 37-37 record from 2004 to 2010, the Tigers have managed to compile a record of 9-41 with four different coaches in the five years since including two 0-10 seasons. Things are changing however and the Tigers are eager to get out on the field and make some things happen. On Sunday at One Buc Place, Head Coach Fred Reid and two of his standouts met with the media at Tampa Bay’s inaugural high school football media day that featured teams from Hillsborough County. Here are some highlights from that press conference.
Head Coach Fred Reid on his intensions for establishing an identity for his Tigers: “On both sides you can expect guys to work very hard…I teach my guess to work hard to play like you practice and they’ve been doing a great job of that everyday. I think they’re ready to kick this season off. Win or lose, the identity of this team will be one of giving 100-percent week-in and week-out.”
Head Coach Fred Reid on his offensive approach this season: “We are going to be very balanced on offense. In order to be successful in the game of football you can’t be one-dimensional. We’ve got a pretty good quarterback and he can also use his legs, but he’s got an arm on him so that’s an advantage we will have going into the season. The goal is to take each game week by week and go out everyday and be prepared. We can’t go out there and lay down for anybody and we’ve got to play everyone for four quarters.”
QB Michael Edoga’s expectations for 2015: “I’m just happy to be on the field this year. Coach Reid and everyone worked real with me to get me eligible. My expectations for myself are simple. I just want to go out and have a good season this year and see what we can do.”
Being ineligible has made Edoga hungry: “All the teams that haven’t seen me yet, I just can’t wait to show them what I’ve got and what Middleton can bring.”
RB/SS Ja’marcus Hadley On the history of Middleton High School, and what it means to wear the Maroon and Gold, the city of Tampa’s oldest predominantly African-American high school established in 1934: “To me playing at Middleton means a lot. We have so many members of our community that could have done big things and then things just went wrong in life. To us, it means a lot because we’re just trying to step up and make it and represent the community like Middleton should be.”