Tinsman leading way for Warriors

Tyler Tinsman Rich Cooley/Daily

STEPHENS CITY — In one of Sherando’s biggest and most competitive games of the year, “coach” came up big for his team.

Sherando senior Tyler Tinsman, who is affectionately called “coach” or “coach Tinsman” because he’s like a coach on the field, had 16 tackles in Sherando’s 14-10 victory over rival James Wood last Friday.

“That’s the most I’ve ever had,” Tinsman said. “I moved back to my Will (linebacker) spot on the backside of plays, and so that’s where I play better. So, I got to do what I like best.”

Tinsman is the quarterback of the defense and the one who calls out the play for his teammates to hear.

Sherando coach Bill Hall said Tinsman’s knowledge of the game is one of his biggest strengths.

“He gets us in and out of things based off of looks that we have. So, he really is our quarterback on defense,” Hall said. “He’s very cerebral. He can diagnose things, and get to the point of attack. That’s the strength of his game, and he does a good job of it.”

Tinsman’s play against James Wood helped him earn The Northern Virginia Daily’s Male Athlete of the Week for the week of Oct. 5-Oct. 11.

Not only did Tinsman have 16 tackles, but the last one was the biggest of the game. With 30 seconds left in the game and James Wood at the Sherando 25-yard line the Colonels faced a fourth-and-two, Tinsman and teammate David Eppard teamed up to stop James Wood running back Tyler Bishop for a loss to seal the win.

“They tried to run Iso at me, and I just came up and filled right at the line,” Tinsman said. “I knew it was fourth down, and me and Eppard we both made that play right there. Just knowing that they had only one more play to score, because they were going to run out of time if they had to run another play. Just coming up and making that play is great.”

Tinsman said he played all over the place at linebacker this season. He’s been at the Sam (strongside linebacker), the Mike (middle linebacker) and the Will (weakside linebacker).

Hall said Tinsman’s versatility at linebacker is a big luxury for the Warriors.

“We can move him from Mike to Sam to Will,” We’ve kind of moved him all over the place based off of other kids we have,” Hall said. “We can put him anywhere and he’s going to be pretty efficient and effective. So it’s really a credit to him that he’s that flexible, and can still produce wherever we put him because there’s different nuances to each of those positions.”

Tinsman is one of the leading tacklers in the area and leads his team with 57 tackles.

As a sophomore, Tinsman played behind George Aston, who is now a sophomore fullback at the University of Pittsburgh. Tinsman said he learned a lot from Aston.

“During practice he always made me go up against him, so he would hit me every time,” Tinsman said. “He didn’t take it easy on me. It made me learn you have to go hard every time. There’s no taking a rep off. You have to do everything every time.”

Hall said that Tinsman’s success against James Wood and this season is also due to the play of the defensive line, which has done their job to allow Tinsman and the linebackers free to make plays.

Tinsman said there’s nothing quite like making a big hit or a big tackle during a game.

“You just feel it. You know when you make a good tackle. You know when you make a good hit, and it’s an amazing feeling,” Tinsman said.

The Warriors are 6-0 on the season, and Hall said they are still searching for consistency.

“The exciting thing is we still haven’t played our best football,” Hall said. “But I’ve been pleased we picked up our approach to practice as the season’s gone. Not that it was ever bad, but it’s getting better. Our kids understand the importance of practice and how that plays out Friday nights.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com