No doubt last week’s loss to Flowery Branch was disappointing for the Apalachee High School football program.
When you haven’t lost a regular season game in almost two calendar years, then any time you come up short on the scoreboard, it is going to be disappointing.
Yet, if there is a program which can bounce back, this will be it. The reason is simple. All one has to do is look at Wildcat head coach Shane Davis for the answer.
Davis, along with his coaching staff, will have his team ready when Salem arrives this Friday night. Practice sessions this week will be intense and focused. I know Davis and it simply won’t be any other way for him leading up to this contest.
Despite the disappointment of last Friday’s loss to Flowery Branch, Davis was quick to point out how everyone associated with the AHS continued to fight until the end.
“Our coaches kept working the entire time,” Davis said. “We could have easily gotten down. We kept battling as did our group of young kids. There are no more moral victories at Apalachee anymore. We are past that. We can learn from wins and losses but we will have to keep our heads up. We haven’t been on this end of a regular season game in a long time. It’s not a lot of fun. We don’t want to get used to it. Still, last Friday, it would have been so easy to have thrown in the towel at various points but we kept battling. I was proud of our team for that.”
In our lengthy conversation Sunday evening I could tell the wheels were turning in the Apalachee coach’s mind. He was ready Sunday night to take the field again and get the loss out of his team’s system.
The Wildcats will bounce back, of that I have no doubt. Davis, along with his coaching staff, will have the team ready this week for Salem, a quality opponent for sure.
Winning has become the norm for the AHS football program. Losses are not common and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the team’s best performances this week. With Davis leading the way, it can be no other way. The Wildcats, and AHS as a whole, have a solid leader in Davis. He’s someone who has poured everything he has into the program. One regular season loss is not going to send the program reeling.
I predict a new regular season winning streak will begin Sept. 17, 2010. Salem just may be in for more than it could have ever expected come kickoff.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.