7 Seasons. A 80% winning percentage. A couple of trips to championships. A championship win and rings for everyone.
That’s still not enough. The Enid Enforcers barely get noticed in their own hometown except by their own diehard fans. And don’t get me wrong, they have fans. They come out and watch and cheer. However, for all the great football that the Enforcers are producing, they should be drawing a lot more. Quite a bit more.
It’s hard to get noticed when the local paper doesn’t really cover you or give you attention. They do the same thing to other sports in Enid. If it’s not high school, it’s not a sport.
To the Route 60 Sentinel, that’s fine. We’ll take care of it. But to the players, who pour the hearts out. Bleed, break bones, pay their own money, and travel hundreds of miles to play games, it’s not really fair. The best way to help this, is to get out there and support your local teams. Go support the Enid Enforcers on Saturday night at Selby Stadium. Kickoff is at 7pm.
Recently, I was able to interview coach/owner Mark Timberlake, DB Marques Odom, and DB/WR Wayne Wedel prior to an Enforcers practice.
Interview with Owner/Coach Mark Timberlake
Route 60: What’s gonna change this year? You’ve got some new players?
Mark Timberlake: Yeah, we’ve got around 8 or 9 new players. There’s hunger there. A drive. They want to go win.
Route 60: Let’s talk about those new guys.
Mark Timberlake: We’ve got 3 new offensive linemen. Two new defensive linemen. One is a two-time all-american and one is a three-year starter at college the other played at Northwestern. They’re coming in, they’re already seasoned. They know football. They know how to play and they know the work ethic. In the past, that’s been something we’ve sometimes had to teach new players. Our offensive line is going to be huge, you can see that. They’ve kind of brought a fresh new attitude to the team.
Route 60: I was going to ask about the new coach…
Mark Timberlake: Coach Bull. Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. Played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coached a bit on the west coast. All-American at Penn State University under Joe Paterno.
Route 60: Talk a little if you would about how the relationship between the Enforcers and Enid High School is going.
Mark Timberlake: Coach Chard and Enid High have really been great. I can see the Enforcers and Enid starting to form a warm relationship. I think they see us as being a good partner in the sports community and we really value our relationship with them. The Enforcers have always loved the Plainsmen. A lot of us were Plainsmen. We love this field and value it tremendously. We defend it with the same honor we did as Plainsmen. As a franchise, 7 years and an .800 winning record. 1 CFL championship kind of speaks for itself. But we want to bring more. We will bring more.
Interview with DB Marques Odom
Route 60: How long have you been with the Enforcers?
Marques Odom: This is my third year
Route 60: I thought I had seen you on the sidelines before.
Marques Odom: First year we won the championship, second year we went back to the championship game, and we gonna try to make another run this year.
Route 60: Defensive Back and Running Back?
Marques Odom: Yep. I’m an athlete!
Route 60:: There you go. That’s better.
Route 60: What’s been the best thing about playing football with the Enforcers?
Marques Odom: The best thing about playing with the Enforcers? It shows you have the love for the game. Because you know…We aren’t getting paid for anything. This is all just love for the game! You get to see guys that still love the game and play the game of football not just because you’re getting a paycheck but simply because it’s for the love of the game. And it gives you more experience. Playing with different types of athletes out here allows me to take it into my every day life and mess with the kids that I mess with on an every day basis because I coach for the high school, so it intertwines with that as well. It helps me interact with them and deal with different types of attitudes and things.
Route 60: Do you use it as a teaching tool?
Marques Odom: Everyday.
Route 60: I’m assuming you coach DBs?
Marques Odom: Yep.
Route 60: Do you have your DBs come watch?
Marques Odom: Yeah, if the game wasn’t canceled last week, most of them would have been in the stands watching me play. That goes not only for my varsity DBs, but for my other athletes in other sports that would like to come out and see how we do in other sports and other backgrounds and it helps us.
Route 60: What’s your biggest expectation for this season?
Marques Odom: The biggest expectation for this season is going back to the championship!
Route 60: Going to the ship!
Marques Odom: (laughs)…Going to the ship…going to win it again!
Route 60: What’s you biggest individual expectation for the season:
Marques Odom: My biggest individual expectation is once again to never get scored on again…to understand that when you come MY way, it’s just not happening. Because I felt that I let my guard down last year and maybe got a little too cocky and I just didn’t make the play in the playoffs. That was the only time I got scored on, you know was in the championship game. So, my goal is just not to get scored on and shut down my side of the field completely.
Route 60: How you gonna do that?
Marques Odom: How am I gonna do that? Preparation, man. Practice and preparation. That and going in there with the mind frame that anything is possible.
Route 60: Timberlake and I are discussing the possibility of coming back and reviewing things like that in a segment and we’re gonna call it “How’d That Work Out For Ya?”
Marques Odom: HEY! We can do that! And I’ll tell you it worked out great for me! (Laughing)
Route 60: How do you think the unbalanced home schedule will affect things?
Marques Odom: Hey. We’re athletes. It shouldn’t effect us at all. Give us a field. Give us some lines. Hey. We should be able to handle business.
Route 60: Who else besides Marcus Odem should fans be watching this year?
Marques Odom: I’ll tell you this. You got to watch out for this whole team. But you’ve got to watch out for #7. Lawrence Jordan. 31 Squire Logan. Deion on offense who always holds his own. Dominique’s coming back. Dominique Logan’s gonna do his thing like always. It’s gonna be a pretty exciting season. We’re looking forward to it. We know we’ve got a lot of competition this year. Team’s have bettered the talent on their team, but over all we feel we are still capable of doing what we do every year. And that is come out and make a run for the championship.
Interview with Wayne Wedel
Route 60: It’s my understanding that there is a bit of a legend about you. Is it true that you didn’t play any organized football before the Enforcers?!
Wayne Wedel: I did not play HS football.
Route 60: HOLY CRAP! You did NOT PLAY HS FOOTBALL!? ARE YOU SERIOUS?
Wayne Wedel: Yeah. (LAUGHING). I played in Junior High, but that’s about it.
Route 60: I once asked Timberlake about letting a reporter playing in a game. Timberlake was onboard. I wanted to do it really bad.
Wayne Wedel: Yeah! Come on out!
Route 60: I asked my doctor about it and he said, “Absolutely….not.”
Wayne Wedel: (LAUGHS)
Route 60: You’ve played three years, so that means you’ve played in the championships a few times.
Wayne Wedel: I’ve got my ring!
Route 60: First time playing football and you win a dang championship! Whooo! I’m retiring a champion! No! Wait…I’m going for back to back!
Wayne Wedel: That’s right! We went to the ship again! We almost did it.
Route 60: So….what are the expectations for this year?
Wayne Wedel: Aw man. I want to go all the way. I want another ring. But more than that. Learn something new. I like to learn something new every year.
Route 60: How do you plan on achieving that?
Wayne Wedel: Hard work and dedication.
Route 60: So, of all the players on the team that you could learn from, who do you try to learn something from?
Wayne Wedel: I try to learn a lot from Al he knows a lot. That’s a lot of knowledge right there. Al…He played for the Rangers. A lot of knowledge….
Route 60: Since you’re relatively new to the sport, what’s been the funnest part about playing?
Wayne Wedel: The team. The teammates. Learning everybody….it’s fun. It’s family. Oh…and you’ve got the hitting. Can’t leave that out. I love to hit.
Route 60: What’s been the hardest part?
Wayne Wedel: The discipline. You know, your technique. Your routes. Cover this and cover that. That’s been the hardest. Staying disciplined. In the backyard, you can do whatever. Here, you’ve got this little section you have to be in, or run this route, or this specific defender. For me, that’s been the hardest part.
Route 60: From last year to this year, what’s the thing that has changed that will make the difference that could ultimately bring the rings and the bling back to E-town?
Wayne Wedel: I see a lot more playing as a team. No egos. No “i”s. We’ve been playing together and been playing the game we all love.
Route 60: Besides yourself, who are the players to watch?
Wayne Wedel: Oh man! Al…he’s always very dynamic, he’s second in quarterback. Deon. Very crisp on his routes and killer hands.
Route 60: What about your coaches? I know you’re not going to be critical of them, but…
Wayne Wedel: Coach Stephens is the man. He’s funny and always has a lesson to throw in. I can remember last year before a game he was giving a history class. Mark, he knows A LOT. He has a lot of knowledge. He’s done everything. Play. Coach. This new guy we have, Coach Bull. He played in the NFL and stuff.
Route 60: I’m sitting here watching Coach Timberlake teaching these young kids at the same time as you guys are getting ready to practice. If you could go tell one of those kids something about their journey in football, what would you say?
Wayne Wedel: Keep your head on a swivel. And stay focused. Definitely stay focused. It’s hard.