Southside ready for playoff push

Published 9:49 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Editors Note: This is third in a series highlighting the fall schedules of Dallas and Perry County.

Last year, Southside High School finished off their year with two straight wins to give them some momentum heading into the 2011 season.

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This year the Panthers must pickup that momentum and run with it, but the schedule they have to run through will not be easy.

Six of the 10 teams the Panthers will face made the 2010 playoffs, the most of any of the area schools so far and finished and finished with a record of 48-52, a 48 win percentage.

“The good thing about it is, right now we are all 0-0,” Southside head coach Lem Jones said. “We all start even and everyone believes they can work hard and be successful.”

During the Panthers spring practices; Jones was confident his team could make the push to the playoffs and, after reviewing the tough schedule, didn’t change that outlook.

“At Southside we have yet to play our best football,” Jones said. “We all of the injuries last year, we now have good depth taking into the next season. We have the summer to get a little strong, a little faster and a little bigger.”

Southside continues the familiar trend of a season spent away from home. Six of the ten games will be on the road for the Panthers, including rival Selma High and 4A South semifinalist Bibb County.

“It will make it a challenge for us,” said Jones. “We are who were are and we are going to play football the way that Southside plays football. It doesn’t matter if we are playing on the road or not.”

Of the four home games, the Panthers host county rival Dallas County as well as Livingston High School, which has merged with Sumter County to give the new school a different flair.

Jones said he his team has to continue to get better in the summer and fall, but that his schedule is one that can be completed to reach that playoff goal.

“We just have to work hard,” Jones said. “That’s all it comes down to.”