Big time, big play

One minute before halftime. Third and long. Homecoming night. Fans were hoping for a big play to extend the Little Cyclones’ lead before halftime. David Tim was just hoping to make the catch. “First, I had to catch the ball,” the senior receiver said. “After that I just tried to make a play and gain more yards.” Tim was able to haul in the pass and maneuver down the sideline for a 61-yard gain. The play set up a touchdown that put the Little Cyclones up 28-6 at halftime in what would be a 35-14 win over Mason City. It was a big win for the team, in a conference game on Homecoming night after a loss to Valley the week before. The pressure of the moment did not negatively affect Tim, though. “Last year, there were a little bit more nerves in every game,” he said. “This year I’m more relaxed. I think we know what to do as a team to get it done.” Having a familiar face at quarterback has helped calm the nerves this season. Tim and quarterback Marty Pick were teammates as sophomores, and pairing the two together again this year has played out well for everyone. “It’s nice to know we’re on the same page,” Tim said. Off-season training is another reason for Tim’s new confidence this season. He worked his skills at camps over the summer, including the Iowa State University junior-senior prospect camp and the University of Iowa football camp. As a team, the Cyclones competed in 7-on-7 games in July and lifted weights throughout the summer. So far the hard work has translated into winning football on the field. “It’s a definite improvement from last year,” Tim said. With a 4-2 record, the Cyclones have already equaled their win total from last year, but Tim knows better than to look past any opponents. “We’re going to try to make it to the playoffs –one game at a time.” Performances like Tim’s against Mason City will go a long way toward reaching that goal. He was the game’s top receiver, finishing with 4 catches for 86 yards in what he called the best game of his high school career. He will be tested again tonight when the Little Cyclones travel to Marshalltown to face the rival Bobcats. But do not expect Tim to be thinking about the pressure to come out with a win. He will just be trying to catch the ball.