The Orangeburg Touchdown Club welcomed a guest speaker on Thursday who last spoke to the club 12 seasons ago.

Tommy Spangler - in his first season back for his second stint as head football coach at Presbyterian College - said he was glad to see the Orangeburg club still supporting local and regional football, along with the student-athletes who play the sport.

The past six seasons, Spangler served as Skip Holtz's defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech. But he has returned to Clinton and the PC campus to help build the program where he previously served as head coach from 2001-2006.

"We're doing some good things at Presbyterian College," Spangler said. "Sure, every football fan wants their team to win.

"But, I want our team to follow our core values. I want our fans to see our players doing the right thing, win or lose. Our core values are who we are and what we do."

Spangler mentioned some points of focus he established for his team.

"Develop respect and passion for the game," Spangler said. "I said develop, because we aren't even close, but we are growing and developing young men.

"It's about caring for the game. But it's also about the game teaching each player life values. It isn't always going good. But it's about building character. It's hard to love hard work and time management. I want our fans who pay attention leaving games knowing our team respects the game and loves the game."

Spangler pointed out that once a student-athlete loves the game, they then must develop chemistry and relationships with teammates and coaches.

"As corny as it sounds, we use the term love; you have to care about each other," he said. "I'm talking about player to player, player to coach, coach to coach.

"How can you build an organization unless you've got a group of people who care about each other? You might fight about things every day, but that's because it's family. You have to have togetherness and chemistry, even through conflict. And you have to have respect."

Once there is a passion for the game, and a chemistry among teammates and the entire program, Spangler pointed out that there needs to be mental and physical toughness.

"You've got all these distractions in life, especially for a college student, but you handle the situation and stay focused on the task at hand," Spangler said. "It may be important, but you are able to block things out and have a quality time in the classroom or at practice.

"But, if I take all my issues and mental clutter into the classroom or onto the practice field, I will never accomplish what my goals originally were. The physical toughness will come from that focus and hard work to reach those goals."

Next up, Spangler pointed to developing a conditioned mind and body.

"To play this game the way it's meant to be played, you've got to have that body right," Spangler said. "But, you have to have a conditioned mind to have resilience and bounce back.

"We lost to Wake Forest and The Citadel to start the season. But our guys bounced back and we've gotten wins against Campbell, Cumberland and Saint Francis."

The Blue Hose are 3-4 this season, coming off a 7-0 home loss to Charleston Southern on Saturday. After an open week this week, PC returns to play host to Kennesaw State on Oct. 28 at 2:30 p.m. in the program's 7th consecutive home game.

Spangler's final point among the core values for his team was develop a relentless spirit towards preparation.

"It's Monday through Friday when you get the job done, even though you have to show up and actually get it done on Saturday," Spangler said. "Our kids have got to buy in that weight room, practice and meetings all have to be at a high level.

"Everyone wants to win. But it's what you are all about. How do you represent?"

Also at Thursday's OTC meeting, Bamberg-Ehrhardt's A.J. Williams and Orangeburg Prep's John Henry Reynolds were recognized as ATI Physical Therapy Players of the Week.

Next week's OTC meeting will begin with lunch at 11:30 a.m. at The Cinema, followed by the meeting at noon. Guest speaker will be former Clemson football coach Danny Ford.

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