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Super 16: Team #1 Southern Columbia Tigers

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A top ranking and a stacked roster, a familiar sight in Catawissa, but this year's steak of tigers has some extra motivation.

"We expect a lot coming out this year with the let down last year in the state championship game," sophomore wide out Julian Fleming said. "Our quarterback, Stone (Hollenbach), he had a screen saver of Steel Valley holding the state championship game as the background on his phone for his motivation."

"Think about how much you look at your phone a day and every time I looked at my phone, that was the first thing I saw," Hollenbach said. "I actually watched the state championship game on Hudl two days ago, just stuff to get you motivated. It's something we think about a lot."

Thinking, and working. As for that talent?

"We have a great team," Fleming began. "Great skill positions everywhere, great linemen, a lot of people coming back. I mean, there's just so much stuff we can do. We're such a dual threat team running and throwing the ball now. I mean, it's gonna be hard for teams to compete with us."

The new turf field going in is the pretty much the only thing new here at Southern Columbia. They return 16 starters. Their best players from last year, Stone Hollenbach, Julian Fleming, Gaige Garcia, they were all underclassmen and now they have experience."

"Experience is going to help for me, especially with running through the holes and following our blockers," Garcia said. "Me and Julian (Fleming) knowing when to go up for a ball or not, Stone (Hollenbach) throwing the ball at the right time and last year, I mean, we were all asking how the plays work and where to go on this play and that play and now it's kind of like we're helping the younger kids out."

"That's unusual to have that many freshmen come into your program and play at such a high level," Southern Columbia head coach Jim Roth said. "So those guys have many years left on varsity and so they need to handle that experience in the right way and use it to build off of and to play with more confidence."

For this group, confidence won't be a problem.

"Our goal is to win the state championship," Hollenbach said. "We're not satisfied with second place. There's a lot of high expectations this year, but you know, we have the type of team that can handle that."

"We're going to come out this year, me as an individual and as a team and we're going to bust our butts and we're going to be the best in the state this year," Fleming said.

For now, the best in the Super 16 Countdown.