In 2009? Two wins.
In 2010? Two wins and shut out in the first round of sectionals.
In 2011? You guessed it—two wins. Shutout in sectionals again.
But 2012 is as different a year for the Adams football team as the mean temperatures in South Bend in January and August.
In 2012? Eight wins and counting. Six if you’re one of those people that believes in rules and official records.
Adams has had fewer points than their opponent at the end of a game only twice this season. It’s a miraculous turnaround for a program by any stretch. Add in the fact that two of their on-field wins were forfeited due to a player-eligibility issue, and the Eagles’ success is even more of a head-scratcher.
How does a perennial two-win team suddenly find the confidence to take on all comers despite the adversity? Ask Adams head coach Craig Redman and he’ll say it’s simple: the winning attitude that has always existed inside his players is finally manifesting itself on the outside.
“I’ve got to give credit to the parents,” Redman said. “People ask me, how did I do this, I haven’t done anything. We’re just bringing out what their parents already instilled in them.”
The nod to the parents isn’t a slight at past generations of Eagle guardians; it’s a hint at something bigger. A culture change.
“We’ve been down a lot this year,” said Redman. “Going into halftime, the kids are the ones talking about, 'We can do this. We can win.' And that's a huge change from us in the past.”
The Eagles (6-4) now face an unfamiliar test: the playoff push. Adams faces Elkhart Central (6-4) in round two of sectional playoffs Friday night at 7pm at Clay Field.
The Eagles edged out a 31-17 victory in the regular-season meeting between the two. But now, it’s winner-take-all. Now, a loss ends the magical season. Redman is quick to point out that the team has been in tough spots before.
“That's the mental toughness, and that's where our kids have really been successful this year is going through adversity. And when that happens, how do you go? You go up or down, and it's a sign of maturity if you go the right way."