Tindle steady hand guiding Blue Thunder ship

By Matt Nestor
Sports Columnist

Two reasons existed for Belvidere North’s amazing run in the playoffs. One was execution. The other was turning over the quarterback spot to Tony Tindle full time.

Now, Tindle is back as a senior, and returns ready to lead a potent offense that has most of its key components back.

For Tindle, leading is second nature. He plays with a smooth confidence that can be confused with reckless abandon. And his teammates fall in line and leave it all on the field.

“I try to bring confidence to the team,” Tindle said. “I want my team to be confident. If you come into a game scared, you’re not going to pick it up until the second quarter, and we know we’re not sneaking up on anyone. We want to score right away out there.”

But Tindle knows he can’t go at it alone. He points to other players, like senior Austin Smaha, who will have to play at a high level for the team to be successful.

“I like to bring my speed to scare the defense,” he said. “And if I can throw them off with my speed, our whole offense should be able to tear up the defense. It’s not a one-person team, it’s all of us together.”

Tindle said he has worked this offseason on being smarter in the passing game and making better reads. And Head Coach Ryan Zarembski said in their spread offense, the decisions he makes will determine the offense’s success.

“For us, in the system we run, the quarterback is the most important player,” he said. “He has to do a lot. He’s responsible for making reads and the ball is in his hands all the time. If you’re going to run the spread, you have to have a real athletic quarterback, and we’re lucky we have Tony for two years here.”

From the Aug. 25-31, 2010 issue

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