Prepping for playoff potential
By Nick Nunn
Coming off the impressive victory against Hart County, Coach Bill Malone now has what he has acknowledged as one of the biggest obstacles of the season right in his sights, Jackson County.
From early on in the season, it has been more and more clear to the coaching staff at MCHS that the game against Jackson County will determine our playoff possibilities.
Simply stated (and barring any less likely possibilities) this is the playoff situation for Morgan County as it currently stands: if they beat Jackson County this week, then the Bulldogs will be the second seed in the first playoff round and will get to host the game.
But if Morgan County looses, they will be out of the playoffs.
Right now, however, Coach Malone sees his team rising to the occasion.
“I hope we are climbing the peak at the right time, and it sure did seem like it Friday.”
Completely thought out, there are four playoff possibilities for Morgan County right now.
(1) If Morgan wins and North Oconee beats Hart this Friday, Morgan will be second.
(2) If Morgan wins and Hart beats North Oconee, Morgan will be third.
(3) If Morgan loses and Franklin beats Elbert this Friday, Morgan will be fourth.
(4) Finally, if Morgan loses and Elbert beats Franklin, Morgan will be out.
Since all of those scenarios will still be in play Friday night, Coach Malone’s interest also lies in the other matchups, but he is reigning in his interest so he can focus on the task at hand.
“We’ll certainly be curious about what is happening in Bogart, but we are going to have our attention focused on the field and taking care of our business. We have to do that first.”
“But, at the end of the game, if we are ahead of Jackson County, the first thing we are going to want to know is what happened over there in Bogart.”
Jackson County will show the Bulldogs a type of defense it isn’t used to seeing.
“A lot of blitzes,” said Malone. “A lot of the idea that they are going to confuse you before you get a chance to get going.”
“Their offense is very much pass-oriented. Very few routes, not a bunch of them, but enough of them where we’re going to have to disguise our coverages.”
Another concern on Coach Malone’s mind this week: Senior night.
“Senior night is exceptionally bittersweet. The kids are always welcome here, but, as soon as this season is in the books, those guys have graduated [for us]. I mean, the minute that we are back at this fieldhouse or they are in their cars leaving, they have graduated.”
“And Benton, Bobo, and Hawk are now the seniors; they are treated as seniors from the very next time we walk in that weight room. We certainly aren’t pushing them to the side, but that is the reality and the finality of the last game. It truly and honestly is over.”
“It is always a tough pill to swallow, seeing them lined up before the game with their mamas and their daddies… but you know that’s it. They’ve done their senior night.”
Printed in the November 8, 2012 edition