Don't tell Jackson County’s coaches or players that there’s nothing on the line these last two weeks of the season.
For a program that won just 10 games from 1998-2008, Jackson County, which hosts Hart County Friday, has the opportunity to post back-to-back four-win seasons or possibly even finish at .500.
“There is pride on the line … There’s a lot of pride to play for,” Jackson County coach Billy Kirk said.
Despite losing 19 seniors off a 2009 team that finished with the program’s best record in 12 years (4-6), Jackson County has the same record — 3-5 – this year as it did to this point last season.
The Panthers have a chance to at least duplicate last year’s production but must first regroup from a 42-21 loss to rival Jefferson last week. Click here for the game story.
Jackson County trailed 35-0 at the half, killing any chance it had of beating its nearby foes.
Though he complimented his team for its second half resurgence, Kirk said an “awful” first-half performance, hindered by missed tackles and missed assignments, cost the team dearly.
“It translated into 35 points,” Kirk said.
Making matters more frustrating, the coach felt his team was actually very well prepared for the game.
“Unfortunately, that didn’t show,” Kirk said.
Now, the focus shifts to finishing strong. A 5-5 finish, however, would require the Panthers — who close the season next week against struggling Rabun County — pull off a huge upset this Friday at home against Hart County.
The Bulldogs come into the game with an uncharacteristic 4-3-1 record but that doesn’t mean they’re not talented.
Kirk points to Hart County’s offensive backfield and quarterback Landon Beck.
“The Beck kid is back,” he said. “Their tailback is a good kid and fast as usual.”
Jackson County has faced Hart County every year since Kirk arrived in 2007 but managed little success. The traditional power has outscored the Panthers 103-7 in the past three meetings.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle for Jackson County is to not to let Hart County’s name and history deter them.
“We’ve got to get over that “HC” on the side of their helmet,” Kirk said.
Pride? What pride? Does Jackson County even have anything to Pride themselves on? Can you remember a winning season? I cant. It seems the only thing Jackson County can have pride about is losing. You want to have pride. then get a new GROUP of coaches, not just a head coach. Head coach doesnt work one on one with every position on the field. So not only is their something wwrong at the top of the chain, but also some of the links that hold it together.
11/03/10 at 02:57 PM
There is much to be said about young men who continue to show up, suit up, and play the game, even in the face of adversity. There is much to be said about pride and loyalty win or lose. The players that have remained at Jackson County despite the odds are to be commended. They show strength of character and determination that many athletes will never realize. They have made a conscious choice to stay and contribute to their community, to the community of rec. coaches, middle school coaches, teachers, etc. that have helped to cultivate their athletic and academic talents. They are steadfast when others choose to leave and play at rival schools for the purpose of garnering more recognition, etc.
And...win or lose they have my support and command my respect. What pride you ask? The young men that play for JCCHS are the very embodiment of PRIDE, because they NEVER quit! They show up, suit up and play the game every Friday night. Perhaps you should consider them when posting such negative comments.