The teams in GHSA Region 2-AAAA got a feel of it last week. Many other regions will this week.
Sure, non-region games are fun to play, but once region games begin, things change for high school football teams.
Take a look at Veterans.
The Warhawks lost their first three games to Warner Robins, Northside and Harris County. The game with Warner Robins was a one-score game in the fourth quarter, and the Warhawks had their chances to get back into that one. Against Northside, it was a blowout early as the Eagles continued to roll. And the loss to Harris County was disappointing because the Warhawks won that game last year.
But any disappointment from those first three games was wiped away last week with a Region 2-AAAA win over Westside in what might be the young programs most important win.
That has changed the outlook about Veterans season. Winning that game gives the team a boost toward the rest of the season and should give the Warhawks plenty of confidence moving forward.
David Bruce wants his team to be a playoff team, and that goal, obviously, depends on how the Warhawks play in the rest of their region games. They got off to a good start, for sure, but they have to continue their strong play the rest of the way and cant just live off what they did against the Seminoles. That started Thursday against Rutland in another key region game.
The teams in Region 2-AAAAA, Region 2-AAA and Region 4-AA, among others, begin their trek toward the playoffs this week.
And it is not an easy trek. Teams have to maintain their focus every week and not look back on what has happened or what is coming down the road. Coaches say all the time that their teams have to take their seasons one game at a time, and that sounds like a cliché, but its true in region play.
There are no guarantees, and teams cant relax if they win one key game because there is likely another one coming up the next week.
And thats what makes this time of year so exciting.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org