|Bring on Goliath
Owens presents players with challenge to have fun against No. 1 Texas High
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Oct. 31, 2006 - With the No. 1 team in the state looming on the schedule, Greg Owens challenged the Wildcats on Monday.
The challenge? Go out and have some fun.
"I presented it to them yesterday like it's an opportunity," said Owens, the Sulphur Springs head football coach. "It's not that we have to go play No. 1 - we get to go play No. 1. It's an opportunity. That may sound crazy, but we play these games for a reason."
The Wildcats (2-6 overall, 1-2 in District 11-4A) will travel to Texarkana on Friday to take on unbeaten Texas High, rated by both the Associated Press and TexasPrepXtra.com as the No. 1 team in Class 4A.
Texas High is coming off a 62-14 victory over Lindale, preceded by two close wins over North Lamar and Mount Pleasant.
"I told the kids that all they can control is how hard they play," Owens said. "Just go have fun. We're kind of in a mode right now that when something happens to us, we get down and we don't go to have fun and just play.
"I'm challenging the kids to have fun and enjoy playing the game. Don't let it be a drudgery."
Already this season, seven different teams ranked No. 1 in their classifications have lost, including two in Class 4A (Brenham and Copperas Cove). Owens reminded the players that Sulphur Springs also handed Whitehouse its only loss of the season.
"It's going to be a challenge, and we presented the challenge to the kids of 'What if ... ' What if we got take care of our business? What if we do put it all together like we did for a couple of games and everything clicks?," Owens said. "Then, you're the headlines. Who beat T-High? Sulphur Springs beat T-High.
"That's the way we challenged them yesterday, and they had just a great practice yesterday. They were focused and ready."
He had the players write down team and personal goals before the season to see what they had in mind. Almost all of them wrote that one of their goals was to beat the Tigers.
"I reminded them of those goals sheets and said, 'Here's your opportunity - what are you going to do?' It's a challenge and it's not an easy one - it's difficult - but here it is before you.
"Go shock the state."
SUBVARSITY EXCITEMENT - To get prepped for Friday night, Wildcat fans will want to be at Gerald Prim Stadium on Thursday. That's when the District 11-4A titles will likely be decided on the freshmen and junior varsity levels.
Texas High brings its three unbeaten subvarsity teams to town to take on the three SSHS teams which are also undefeated in District 11-4A.
The freshmen "B" game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., followed by the freshmen "A" contest at about 6 p.m. and the JV game at about 7:30 p.m.