Port St. Joe prepares for SSAC opener with an eye on next month as well

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 11:11 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -It is kind of a strange situation for area high school football coaches. Especially the coaches of area 1A teams getting set for the start of the second Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoff. Focus on that, and focus on what’s ahead in November!

8 1A teams will take part in the S.S.A.C. starting with quarterfinal games Friday. Among the match ups, Holmes traveling to take on Port St. Joe. The Blue Devils go in with a 3-4 mark, coming off the loss at Chipley last Friday.

The Sharks are 4-1, and a team coming off a two week break. They lost one game to an opponent’s COVID concerns two weeks ago, then had a bye last week. So playing in the S-S-A-C is big, but more to the point, Port St. Joe head coach Tanner Jones says, just playing is big!

“Honestly with the S.S.A.C., our kids are just happy to play.” coach Jones told me Monday night. “I think that’s their main focus right now. Like I said, two weeks off, first we didn’t know we were going to have a season. Now we’ve sat out for two weeks, I think they’re just excited about playing football. However many games we can get is how many we’ll take.”

Jones admits he and his coaches, like all coaching staffs, must focus on this week’s game, while also looking ahead to mid-November, and a playoff opener. In the case of the Sharks, a 1A region quarterfinal against Blountstown.

“Now we’re kind of juggling with that.” coach Jones told me. “Do you worry about, do you start getting ready for the SSAC and your opponent that week? When in the back of your mind you know you’ve got Blountstown in four weeks. So actually talking to the coaches today, saying alright guys, worry about this week and we’ll worry about Blountstown next week. We’ll do a little bit every day towards them, but we won’t do it with the kids. So I guess it’s always in the back of your mind that you’ve got another game coming up.”

The game with Holmes in Port St. Joe Friday set for 7:30 eastern time.

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