A hodge-podge of stuff as the season begins to wind down ...
And then, there were two.
One team, no one is really surprised to be alive in the fourth round of the playoffs. It expects to be there, even though it hasn’t been this far in three years until now.
The other, quite honestly, is a bit of a surprise to most, though at the beginning of the year most knew it had the offensive firepower to play with anyone on its schedule.
Frenship and Sudan, the final two alive.
Who will still be that way after this week, if any?
A few weeks ago some of those here at the Avalanche-Journal asked me who I thought had the best chance at making a run to Cowboys Stadium and the state championships.
Honestly, Frenship was one of those schools. The Tigers have the running game that can control the tempo and a defense that has been able to shut down pretty much anyone in its path, even in its lone loss to Amarillo way back when.
And, really, this is where the Tigers expect to be. The last two seasons were an aberration. Most people can go back to penciling in Frenship to go three-to-four rounds now.
Now it becomes about redemption, revenge, whatever you want to call it. Life brings us full circle, and it has brought Frenship full circle to the team that brought about the end to its 2011 season in Rider.
The Raiders crushed the Tigers at Peoples Bank Stadium in the bi-district round last season, 42-14. And it really wasn’t even that close.
Now comes the return trip to Wichita Falls, putting Frenship at a big disadvantage. The Tigers’ biggest opponent this week might be the mental aspect of playing a true road game.
Then there’s Sudan. Every year there’s a surprise team that makes it this far, and the Hornets qualify.
But don’t think they’ve just slid through the playoffs. As early as last season the trained eye could see the Hornets had what it took offensively to beat anyone on their schedule, and the defense has come along throughout the season.
Like Frenship, Sudan now has a mental and physical block to overcome in Wellington, the team that beat Springlake-Earth by 34 points last week — the same Springlake-Earth team that beat Sudan by 24 in district play.
If the Hornets can find a way to continue on another week, they truly would be the surprise team of 2012, maybe in the state.
is never done
I was in Wal-Mart Sunday morning and ran into Kathy Pearson, wife of head coach Todd Pearson, who less than 24 hours earlier had watched Monterey’s terrific season come to an end at the hands of an undefeated Birdville team.
I was with my wife. Kathy was alone. Todd had already gone back up to the fieldhouse, in a coach’s way, trying to deal with the end of the season. And what a great season it was considering all the Plainsmen family — coaches, players, everyone — went through this year.
I could picture coach Pearson there on Sunday, re-enacting the final scene from the film “Friday Night Lights” where Billy Bob Thornton is taking seniors off the depth chart and putting new players up, already looking forward to next season.
And next season, the Plainsmen should be pretty salty with several underclassmen returning. But a shout out goes to this year’s seniors for what they did in putting Monterey back on the map, and doing so through the most trying circumstances imaginable. Look for the Plainsmen to repeat what they did this year and maybe even take it a step further.
All-City, All-South Plains nominations needed
It’s that time. We are currently taking nominations for our annual Avalanche-Journal All-City and All-South Plains teams.
Coaches can nominate as many kids as desired off their respective teams. Nominations should include the player’s name, height, weight, position, classification and all relevant statistics from this season.
Nominations can be sent via email to me (email@example.com) or by fax at (806) 766-2180. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 766-2166. There is no deadline at the moment, but don’t wait too long, get them in ASAP.
Frenship at Wichita Falls Rider (Saturday): On paper, this doesn’t bode well for the Tigers having to go on the road against a very good Rider squad. But this is a better Frenship team than last year, and Rider may not be quite as explosive. Frenship 38, Rider 35.
Sudan vs. Wellington (Friday): With the points the Hornets have put up this year, you’d like their chances. But Wellington is a different beast right now and appears supremely focused. That will be tough for Sudan to get past. Wellington 48, Sudan 28.
Last week: 5-2
Season: 76-32 (.705)
GEORGE WATSON IS SPORTS EDITOR OF THE AVALANCHE-JOURNAL. HE CAN BE HEARD AT 6 P.M. WEDNESDAYS ON “THE HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE” ON KKAM 1340 AM.