Sneads prepares for quick return trip to Liberty Friday

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 10:06 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Call it deja vu for Sneads and Liberty come Friday in the 1A Regional Quarterfinals.

The Pirates and Bulldogs played just a few nights ago in Bristol, with the Pirates coming away with a 17-7 win. That leaving both teams with identical 8-2 records. Now before this game Sneads was just behind Liberty in the RPI rankings. But even after the head to head win, Sneads remains just behind Liberty, so as the higher ranked team, Liberty gets to host their playoff opener Friday. “I did think that if we could win it, we might jump them and they would come to us.” Sneads head coach Bill Thomas told me Monday. “But we were five-one-thousandths of a point from making that happen. I don’t know, I think there should be more points for head to head, should count more. We’re losing a concession stand salary this week, and home field advantage all because of five one thousandths of a point from a computer system. But it’s different, it was in the back of my mind when we played the game last week, you still want to win the game. But you know you’re probably going to have to turn around and have to do this again the following week. It’s unique.”

Coach Thomas says losing some extra money by playing on the road, and losing home field advantage certainly isn’t going to dampen the enthusiasm his team is feeling heading into the playoffs. Especially with an 8-2 record in a season during which the Pirates lost four key players to season ending injuries.

“I told the kids Friday night after the game,” Thomas told me “they had every excuse to turn it in and quit this year. To give up or make excuses. They didn’t, they were mature, they just found a way to get it done. They didn’t make any excuses. And I told them that’s the type of stuff that shows they are getting prepared for life. You know times are gonna be hard, and you have to overcome hard times in life and still find a way to get it done. And that’s what they’ve done this year and I’m proud of ‘em.”

As for preparing to face the same team twice in the span of eight days, well that will cause him to tweak the team’s work-week a little bit, says Thomas.

“It is a little different because we’re playing the same exact opponent that we played last week. We really want to fix the things that we didn’t do right last week. We made a couple of mistakes, we lined up wrong a couple of times. A few little fundamental things, offensively and defensively. We want to fix those things and see if we can’t critique and run the stuff that we planned to run but didn’t run. And you know critique here and there. Do what we do, better.”

That game in Bristol Friday set for 7:30 eastern. We will have highlights of it, and all the area playoff games Friday on Friday Night Overtime.

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