COLUMBIA — Being both the athletic director and football coach at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School, Chad Masters is constantly thinking of ways to motivate his players.
One way he does it is by regularly updating Tolton football's Twitter account with positive messages.
Tipton (1-2) at Tolton (0-3)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Tolton High School
Tuesday night, Masters tweeted this from the account: "Just b/c U R built 4 it, U have worked 4 it & deserve it..it doesn't just happen! U have 2 make it happen! Make the play, win the day!"
After Wednesday's practice, Masters stood with his team in the huddle and reiterated this same message to his players.
Masters gives credit to Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin as the inspiration behind the quote, but added a little more to it himself. Masters believes the team is still motivated despite starting out 0-3.
"I think the morale is pretty solid," Masters said. "They're a tough group of kids. They've been through a lot from last year to this year. They're pretty resilient. They're playing good football, maybe the record doesn't show it, but they're playing 100 times better than last year at this point."
Masters also looks to quarterback Christian Elliott to help keep the team focused during the season.
"I'm always positive," Elliott said. "Sometimes you have to get under someone a little bit to get them going, but know the right place and time to do that. Otherwise, I just lead by example."
Tolton plays Tipton High School at 6 p.m. Friday, and they hope to bounce back after a devastating 55-12 loss to Tipton last season.
"We're trying to manage what we can control and limit our own mistakes," Masters said. "That's how we get better. And that's how we improve this week for the game."
Masters said that the team wants to worry about the next game and the next quarter instead of worrying about the records. Elliot believes the team is prepared to get its first win.
"My guys are ready to go," Elliott said. "We're being coached up. We're going to come out and play our hearts out Friday."