Region play is the start of a new season for many teams. For Dublin and East Laurens, they both begin GHSA Region 3-AA play with a perfect record and will try to carry that momentum forward.
East Laurens has an extra week to prepare for its region opener against Swainsboro. Last season, East Laurens failed to win a region game. Including a 28-0 loss to Swainsboro last year, East Laurens is 4-18 in the series.
“We are not really focusing on Swainsboro this week. We are focusing on East Laurens to get better. We are trying to get our kids well and better,” East Laurens head coach Buddy Sorrow said. “The open week came at a good time right before the region.”
The Falcons won just two games last season, and they have doubled that win total with their 4-0 start. The region schedule brings with it a step up in intensity, and the Falcons realize that the perfect record does not mean that the region will give them the same results according to Sorrow.
“We are stepping up to our region games. The record of the schools we played is no reflection on them, but they were all struggling,” Sorrow said.
One thing that has been a positive for the Falcons is their ability to fight back from a deficit, according to Sorrow.
“We have battled back from behind. When we have faced adversity, they have shown me they can bounce back,” Sorrow said. “Now we have to see if they can do that against a Swainsboro, a Metter or a Dublin.”
One of the games that Sorrow highlighted was the Falcons’ contest against rival Dublin. The Falcons are 1-22 against the Fighting Irish.
The Irish also are 4-0, and they face Metter on Friday night.
“We feel fortunate, and we are excited to get off to a good start,” Dublin head coach Roger Holmes said.
The Irish have gotten off to such a good start in large part because of their stout defense. They have recorded two shutouts already.
“We feel that there are teams in our region that are better than any of the teams we have played so far, and one of those is our opponent Friday night, Metter,” Holmes said. “But we do not prepare any different for anybody. The schedule and the process pretty much remains the same.”
The Irish are suffering from some injuries, missing their starting place-kicker, and they also battle fatigue with players playing on both sides of the ball.
“Being fresh and being not beat up is going to be a major task because we do have several men that play both ways,” Holmes said.