Niceville set for 7A state semifinal Friday
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -On to high school football and what’s ahead in Niceville tomorrow night. Coach Grant Thompson and his Eagles are getting set to host Edgewater out of the Orlando area in the 7A state semifinals.
The Eagles with four playoff wins behind them, Crestivew, Leon, Buchholz and Fleming Island in their wake. The game with Edgewater a rematch from last year, Niceville losing that region final game down there 28-20. So the chance for payback.
I spoke with coach Thompson Thursday, and he says things around Niceville are reaching a fever pitch in advance of this one.
“We do things big in Niceville.” coach Thompson told me. “Everything we do here in Niceville is big, so it’s all on the marquees. They’re putting signs out on John Sims Parkway. They’ve got our mottos up. Prime Lending has got it up there, Two claps and Rick Flair.’ The excitement that surrounds a Niceville team on a deep playoff run is really special.”
As for his team’s readiness, well coming off their last practice of the week Thursday afternoon, coach Thompson said he felt good about the preparations.
“At this point in the year, you have great preparation and great practices. I think one of the best parts about this team is that we are still competitive and still trying to improve. I told the guys that. In terms of preparation, you couldn’t ask for anything more from the coaches and players.”
Friday’s game with Edgewater a rematch of their region final last year, won by Edgewater 28-20. So there’s familiarity from that, as well as studying Edgewater game videos. Coach Thompson talked about one of the opponent’s main threats, Christian Leary, a receiver believed to be the fastest player in the state, who recently committed to Alabama.
“We think they’ve got the fastest player in the state.” Thompson told me. “You know they can track that laser time and it’s on those websites. We think that he’s the fastest guy in the state. Obviously Alabama is not taking you if you’re a slouch. We played them last year, he had two catches on us. We have really good corners as well. We have a corner that may end up going to Alabama ourselves. We know they have good skill players, we have a good skill, there’s going to be great players all over the field.”
Niceville with plenty of talent for sure, quarterback Trey Wainwright has more than 2,500 yards passing and 33 touchdowns., Eagles receivers Roland Clay and Azareyeh Thomas have combined for more than 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns receiving.
That game set for 7, we’ll have all the highlights in our late news Friday night.
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