Seahawks flying through uncharted airspace these days

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The South Walton football team is truly blazing a trail for Seahawks in the future.

Coach Phil Tisa and his team, with a 35-21 win over Baldwin last Friday in the 4A Region Semifinals, becoming the first South Walton team to reach ten wins in a season. And the first South Walton team to ever make it to the Region Finals. Just 8 teams remain in your class when you get this far in the postseason. In order to keep this historic run going, the Seahawks must deal with an 8-2 Bolles team, a private school football factory of sorts out of Jacksonville. Coach Tisa telling me he and his coaches are talking to the players about the significance of this run, and he says he believes the players appreciate the importance of it all.

“And at the same time” South Walton head coach Phil Tisa told me “I think we try to find that balance of what we’re used to doing, versus what this time of year means, you know without over-emphasizing that. I think they’re excited to be here, so I think they’re putting their focus into that. And doing what we ask them to do. You know I mean it’s win or go home time, so you just do what you have to.”

And part of all the fun and drama of all these “firsts” is having to work through the Thanksgiving week, and as coach Tisa tells us, that is a very good thing!

”You know the goal of every high school football program is to ruin Thanksgiving. That’s what we call it, ‘Operation Hashtag Ruin Thanksgiving’. So the fact that we’re getting to practice this week when everybody else is off, and the fact that we’ll have our run-through on Thanksgiving Day, you know those are pretty cool things, that not everybody gets to experience. So that’s kind of the way we’ve approached it, and the way we focused it, this is history for our program.”

Once again South Walton gets the luxury of hosting this ballgame, and if last week was any indication, there should be a large and energetic crowd on hand. After all, this is another first for the program, hosting a third round playoff game.

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