Saints lead march of local teams into playoffs
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 12, 2004
Forget the fact that the Selma High School Saints finished the regular season with less than a sparkling record at 3-5.
Forget the fact that the Saints have struggled with nagging injuries over the past several weeks. It’s time for the playoffs, and the Saints are ready.
Selma is one of three area AHSAA teams to make the postseason, along with Maplesville and Dallas County.
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The Saints will travel tonight to take on Daphne, while Maplesville visits Millry, and Dallas County goes to Geneva.
Here is a preview of tonight’s AHSAA playoff action:
The Saints are entering the playoffs on a three-game losing skid, including shutout losses to Jeff Davis and Carver in back-to-back weeks. The Saints lost their regular-season finale last week to Wilcox Central, 22-14.
More importantly, however, is the fact that the Saints, battered and bruised the past several weeks, finally are beginning to heal.
“We got a lot better this week,” Selma coach Woodrow Lowe Jr. said. “We had a chance to rest some guys and let them heal.
“We’ve had a good week of practice this week,” Lowe added. “The kids are excited and motivated. They’re ready to play.”
They’ll need to be. While Daphne’s 5-4 record is short of spectacular, the team also features a speedy backfield that will give the Selma defense all it wants.
Quarterback Michael Pierce spearheads the Daphne offense. His main job this season has been to hand the ball to running back Byron Mosley, by far the team’s fastest runner.
Being in the playoffs is a marked improvement for the Saints, who won just one game in 2003.
“This time last year, we knew our season was over,” Lowe said. “The kids are really excited to be in this game. This is a new ballgame. Everybody’s equal in the playoffs.
“I think we match up well with Daphne,” Lowe added. “They’re traditionally a very good team, and this year is no different.”
While he didn’t elaborate, Lowe said the Saints’ playbook would have “a few tweaks here and there” this week.
The chance to compete in the playoffs is one of the most exciting times for players and coaches alike. When the Dallas County Hornets travel to Geneva tonight, they will have the opportunity to enjoy the level of success that their hard work has gotten them.
The Hornets also will face one of the state’s rising stars in coaching in Geneva coach Mike McCombs.
A former graduate assistant for two years at Troy State University, McCombs has built a solid team at Geneva (9-1). Its only loss came to Class 4A powerhouse Trinity.
“He really gets the kids to believe in what he does,” Dallas County coach Rick Bush said of McCombs.