Tomorrow, Nov.16, The Oilers will take on their rival, the Tiffin Dragons, in hopes to sneak into the playoffs. Coach Rob Keys is excited for the challenge, but also recognizes that it will take everyone on the Oilers bringing their A-game in order to come out on top.
“They’re [Tiffin] a complete team, they’re good on offense, they’re good on defense and they have a lot of skill players that can make a lot of plays,” said Keys. “Our plan has got to be pretty good on both sides of the ball, to have a chance to beat them.”
With it being the last home game of the year for the Oilers, that means it is senior day and the last time some Oilers get to step on the field at Donnell Stadium. Keys will miss the group of seniors in a multitude of ways.
“[I’ll miss their] Leadership and the type of people they are. It’s a phenomenal group of guys that have given so much time and effort to this place,” said Keys. “Their physical skills are exceptional, they’re all great players but the stuff you don’t see will be really tough to replace because they truly are great people.”
Clay Colvin, a senior offensive lineman, loved his time as an Oiler and will miss all the friendships he made during his time here.
“[I’ll miss] My teammates. Someone once told me in high school to cherish every moment with those guys because there’s nothing like your high school teammates. After coming to Findlay, I realized that that’s not true,” said Colvin. “The guys that I have played with in college with are truly my brothers. We live together, play football together, all aspects of our lives have been together for the past 4 or 5 years. I’m going to miss my brothers more than the game itself.”
Keys is thankful for this group not only because of the people they were, but also because they have been a huge step in building up the Oilers program to D-II relevancy. Which was something the Oilers had struggled with in years’ past.
“They [the group of seniors] were the first group to play in the national playoffs, and this is a group that’s going to walk out of here with a great winning percentage,” said Keys. “There were years’ past, especially in Division 2, where the winning percentage [of the team] was around 30 percent and these guys are walking out of here with close to 75 or 80 percent of wins. They have helped move the program forward and hopefully have laid a foundation for the next group to take it even further.”
Colvin, who was a part of this successful run, says that things he took from football, helped shaped the person he is today.
“[The biggest lesson I learned was] that you redefine yourself daily every day. Whether it be football or school, you are presented with a new opportunity to define who you are,” said Colvin. “You may have had a bad day the day before, but it’s how you bounce back the next day [that defines you].
Keys can’t say good enough about this graduating class. From making the playoffs to help bring the program back, the class of 2019 is truly a special one to Keys and the rest of the Oilers.
“Our staff and myself can’t thank them enough for all the work they’ve put in, not just on the field but off the field as well. They’re all graduating [and] great students,” said Keys. “Any time you bring seniors in as freshman you want them to grow as people, not only as players. They’re very valuable assets to the university not only on the field, but off the field as well.
Keys, the senior class, and the rest of the team will play one more time together at Donnell Stadium against Tiffin at noon on Saturday, Nov.16.