The spirit of the football players is alive at Toms River High School South.
On the chilly evening of Nov. 8, Toms River South coach Ron Signorino said his team had shown plenty of fight, a positive comment that followed in a 40-7 loss by the Indians to Central Regional High School High School in Bayville.
“We played pretty well in the first half. The team felt good going into halftime. The opening kickoff in the second half killed us. It got us out of our rhythm. Central Regional is a much improved team. We may be young, but this team is always going to fight and hopefully we have one more in us,” Signorino said.
Toms River South will keep positive and show some fight when the Indians serve as the holiday host to Lakewood High School on Thanksgiving Day.
The annual holiday gathering will take place at Detwiler Stadium in Toms River. Kick off for the final game of the 2018 season is set for 11 a.m.
“I want my guys to finish the season with integrity, character and fight something they have shown all year. I want the team end things hopefully on a good note and score one more point than Lakewood,” Signorino said.
In the loss to Central Regional, Toms River South was led by sophomore running back Travis Squire, who carried 14 times for 73 yards, and Sam Akinlolu, who scored the lone touchdown while he ran for 31 yards on 10 carries and caught one pass for eight yards.
“It has been a tough season. The senior leadership has kept us together. He is a good young man and he is easy to root for,” Signorino said.
Akinlolu said for this team to get the win against Lakewood, the Indians will have to capitalize on opportunities.
“We need to decrease the amount of bad plays we have. On both sides of the ball we have been giving away big plays. That is something we need to work on,” Akinlolu said.
He also said he has had time to soak up his final season with Toms River South.
“I just want to make certain I leave something better. Our senior class has to make certain the underclassmen get something out of this season,” Akinlolu said.
Senior quarterback Sam Conover, who kept for 28 yards on the ground and threw for 20 yards against Central Regional, is gearing up for his final game as an Indian.
“We want to play Lakewood with heart and finish our season strong. It will be the last game a lot of us get to play. We just want to have fun and do out best. I have also been able to soak in the games this season with this being my final year,” Conover said.
The coach is optimistic, especially for the future.
“I see this team having a really good off-season. We will be young again next year, but we are going to be able to put some really good football players out on to the field, who have had invaluable experience this year,” Signorino said.