By Jeremy McDonald
SWEET HOME, Ore.– Sweet Home quarterback Aiden Tyler has been finding ways to stay active during these crazy times.
Going to Idaho for basketball tournaments, playing in the Oregon 7’s 7-on-7 league, lifting, etc. Not to mention being a part of an ‘All-American’ bowl game in Texas and representing his small hometown on a bigger stage.
“I got the start and led the team on an 80-yard drive. I called that drive with a 30-yard TD pass. Pretty cool to be able to throw a TD pass inside AT&T stadium,” Tyler said. “I also went to an alliance quarterback camp in Springfield where I got a little exposure and got to show off what I could do. I was able to get several workouts in with AQA and it improved my footwork.”
AQA is the Alliance Quarterback Academy, Tyler has worked with Bredin Quinn and Taylor Barton.
To play for a town like Sweet Home, it means family. There’s a sense that the whole town is behind you as you go out and compete with each other, and with how tough the Oregon West Conference has been the past few years, the competition has made them better.
Going up against the physical teams in football like a Cascade, basketball with Woodburn and Stayton. Baseball with Philomath, the multi-sport athlete like Tyler has pointed towards how tough the OWC truly is.
“I truly believe that the Oregon West Conference is the best all-around conference in the state, in all of the men’s sports. We play some great teams during league play and in most games, we are the underdog. I live for the competition in these games and in our league,” he said. “Playing against great teams and great athletes is fun, but it gives myself and my teammates the tools to get better and work harder every day.
“I really believe that all the work we have put into becoming better, will be the key to having more success than in the past.”
Tyler, a six-foot-one-inch quarterback rated as a two-star QB through 24/7 Sports and a three-star through QBHitList, and his Huskie teammates went to the gridiron this past Fall as part of the Oregon 7’s 7-on-7 league.
Going up against some 7-on-7 Club teams like EForce and some 6A schools from Salem, it gave them an opportunity to come together as a team entering hopefully the start of ‘official’ practice in early February. This extended off-season too, along with the 7-on-7 league, allowed Tyler to become more of a leader for his squad.
The Sweet Home Senior found out during this time how important it really was to be that voice, that leader of men entering hopefully one last ride with his family away from home.
“It was fun to take our guys out and go toe-to-toe with some of the best athletes in the state. The quarterback role comes with leadership but during the offseason with covid I found out how important it really was to lead a team and get all of our guys to stay positive and continue getting work done,” said Tyler. “We have set up a gym in our shop and I have had several (Running Back’s) and (Wide Receivers) in there working out HARD. If given a chance to play, we will be ready.”
With them not being able to work as a team due to the shutdown, Tyler has been trying to get his teammates out and together and pushing them to get better every day. He’s been proud of how his receivers are coming together and is excited to see what they are able to do, knowing too all of them are finding ways to get their work done.
Getting their work in, in hopes that the six-week season yields the results they are hoping and are looking for in the fluid situation we are all living in entering 2021. And for Tyler, he’s going to make sure he’s prepared for whenever Week 1 will be.
“I think they all know how fast things can change, and all of us are hoping to get a season soon, but this year has shown all of us that we should value every minute we get together, because these will be our last,” said Tyler., who added 35 pounds to his frame, weighing in at 195 pounds.
“Moving forward, I can continue to get better by working hard and preparing for when we are able to practice and compete. I know that the work I am putting in now will show later!”