The Tigard Tigers are a perennial powerhouse. Never flashy nor a team that steals headlines the boys who hail from one of Oregon's best towns just do the work. Head Coach Craig Ruecker is now one of a handful of coaches who have been around more than a decade or two, the man just keeps imparting his simple tough-nosed philosophies on and off the field. He is a Dean of NW Coaches and a Championship winner to boot.
Powering the Tigers that last few years have been a number of star players but they never steal the show. Like any good team, they shine the light on all who give the effort. Coming into this last weeks battle it took everything and more but they shut down #1 West Linn beating them 9-0 with smothering defense.
Cornerback Braden Lenzy, a 4 Star recruit, will move on to play for the Ducks and is one of the fastest and most talented young men in the West. He is an All American candidate in my book and a supremely confident leader. He shut down West Linn's star receiver Qawi Ntsasa to only 18 yards and did so much more. He leads this squad who we now have as a clear #1 in the State.
Playing with freshmen Drew Carter as their QB the Tigers roared loud all night. Carter has been pressed into service as a result of two Senior QB's being hurt. Despite making mistakes the Frosh is showing all the signs of an older player and appears ready for a 4-year run!
There are much more athletes on this team who deserve recognition. But today I want to recognize a workhorse athlete who starts both ways and who is a prototype of what we seek in a great High School athlete. His name is Spencer Smith; a Senior free safety and running back. At 5'10" and 180 lbs he is average size. But his heart is as big as a Tiger's and it is beating loudly every Friday Night for all to see.
Through 6 games the Tigers are 5-1 and should win the League and move on to premium placement in the OSAA 6A Playoffs. The kid is a workhorse and has posted 641 yards and 9 TD's on the ground. His TD Friday night was a typical power play which is the calling card of the team who will run it straight at anyone. He also had a nice interception along with Braden and his Sophomore brother, Max Lenzy. Those 3 interceptions were a big nail in the coffin for the Lions and a result of constant blitzing.
Spencer is a 4.0 student and is hearing from the Ivy League schools. His talent is certainly at the top tier and his game film has proof of that on both side of the balls. He is seen below breaking ankles and running opponents over. On defense, he is quick to react and a fundamental tackler.
When I think of Tigard football I am reminded of the best attributes of high school football and the young men who play it. Spencer Smith is an exceptional player and student and is high up on our list of sleeper recruits in the Pacific NW! Best wishes to Tigard as they make another run into the playoffs.
Watch Spencer getting it done here and share this with your Coaches and friends.