Mustang senior LB Tims having big campaign

Published 8:46 am Thursday, December 10, 2015

WEST ORANGE — West Orange-Stark senior linebacker Steven Tims and his Mustang teammates have their eyes on the prize.

Tims has also had his eyes squarely set on opposing offenses as he has created pain for opposing running backs and quarterbacks.

The young man has literally been in some hip pockets this year as he has had an amazing run as he is trying hard to get the Mustangs back to the 4A Division II State Championship Game for the second straight year.

After a All-District campaign last year as a junior, Tims has upped the ante as a senior.

Tims has put together an amazing 188 tackles to lead the team, including 17 last week as the Mustangs buried Bellville 42-3 in the Regional Finals.

Tims and the Mustangs hope the success continues Saturday when WO-S (13-1) takes on the Cuero Gobblers (9-5) in the Class 4A Division II State Semifinals at 2 p.m. at Tully Stadium.

“It’s so great to be back in the semifinals,” said Tims. “It feels great to really be a part of something special. We’ve made the regional finals five straight years and the semifinals two years in a row. That says a lot about the program here.”

WO-S coach Cornel Thompson is proud of Tims’ achievements.

“Steven has been our ‘bell cow’ at linebacker the last couple years,” said Thompson. “He’s so consistent every time he takes the field. He’s not that flashy, he just gets the job done. You go back and watch the film and all of a sudden you see he has 17 tackles. That’s pretty dang good right there.”

Tims is just one of the few seniors that contribute on an otherwise loaded team with underclassmen.

“Tht’s what has been so great about this season, the success we’ve had while still being such a young team,” said Tims. “I do my best to show the younger guys some leadership on and off the field.”

Tims enjoys it sometimes when Coach Thompson calls him ‘Boot.’

“That was Gayron Allen’s nickname when he played here,” said Tims. “Gayron is probably the best linebacker that has ever played for the Mustangs. So I just light up when ‘Coach T’ calls me that sometimes.”

Tims and the Mustang defense has limited opponents to just 188.9 yards per game this season and just 136 yards in four playoff tilts in which WO-S has outscored their opponents 221-31.

Next up on the docket are the Gobblers of Cuero. The Gobblers are a run-oriented team, similar to what the Mustangs have faced most of the season.

“We take a lot of pride in stopping the run,” said Tims. “We feel like we are more physical and quicker than most teams and we use that to our advantage. I think we prefer playing teams that like to run the football. It sure beats chasing around people that run the spread.”

Tims and fellow linebacker junior Justin Brown, have had a friendly competition this year. The two have combined for 354 tackles with Brown totaling 169 of them.

“Justin and I love to challenge each other on who can get to the ball first,” said Tims. “We have a lot of fun with it. We love to pursue and chase. We wouldn’t be able to get it done though without those big guys up front like Jalen (Powdrill), Mandel (Turner-King) and Te’Ron (Brown). They open the doors for us and we’re able to fly through.”

The Mustangs find themselves just two wins away from bringing home some hardware but Tims realizes that they still have plenty of work to do.

“Last year was awesome, getting all the way to State, even though we came up a little short,” said Tims. “We started this year talking about getting some unfinished business done. We played each game like it was a new week though, never looking ahead. We know we’re still two more full games away from reaching our main goal and we’re preparing that way. The only thing on our minds this week is getting past Cuero. They have a good team too or they would not be here.”