Holmes coach talks about his Blue Devils making it back to 1A State Finals

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 9:13 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Holmes Blue Devils are in Fort Myers for a third straight year, taking part in the 1A State Finals. Coach Jeromy Powell and company down there as the defending state champs! And let’s face it, through much of the season there were very few folks outside of Bonifay who thought the Blue Devils would be making a return trip this May. You see the Devils are down there with an 11-18 record, carrying a sub-.500 record for much of the season. A big part of that though was a killer schedule Powell put together this season. They played the likes of Catholic, Arnold, South Walton twice, Headland, all very good teams in higher classes. In fact 11 of the team’s losses came to teams in the 3A class or above! Coach Powell telling me, from Fort Myers Tuesday morning, about that. “We knew we wouldn’t win all those games but we knew it was going to be games that would help these guys to get better and possibly get down here next year. And then whenever we would get into the games against some of the smaller schools, that we felt like we should be winning, it just wasn’t working out for us. I don’t think the guys realized how big the bullseye was on their back. You know it was almost like a dog pile out there, like they won the state championship when they (other teams) beat us early in the year.” The coach went on to say he and his assistant coaches came to the conclusion during the season the players simply weren’t putting the kind of importance on each game the way they did last May in their playoff run and in the finals.

Somehow the coach says, the players turned that switch on, and the team’s won 7 of 10 which carried them through the end of the regular season, the district tournament, and two state playoff wins at Northview and Jay. And that put them in Wednesday’s 1A State Semifinal against a 21-4 Lafayette team at one o’clock eastern. Braden is in Fort Myers and will have all the highlights and post game from both semifinal games Wednesday night.