The Bulldogs of GMC Prep (0-1 region, 2-3 overall) fared well in last week’s Thursday night matchup at John Hancock Academy and will see if that magic can continue this Thursday when they host region foe Wilkinson County.
The GMC-Wilco game has been moved up a day due to a referee shortage, according to Bulldogs head coach Lee Coleman. The two teams will kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday rather than the customary 7:30 p.m. from Davenport Field.
Playing one Thursday game is a little strange, especially when it comes together only two days before, but back-to-back Thursday affairs allow a team to adjust. GMC held practice on Sunday to try and keep a regular game week schedule intact.
This week marks the start of a very important stretch for Coleman’s team. Four of the final five regular season games are region contests, which will determine whether or not GMC Prep football can make the postseason for the first time since 2002. Two wins in those four region games could end a 17-season playoff drought. To do that, the Bulldogs will first have to end the program’s region victory dry spell that has stood since 2014.
Coleman believes that once one domino falls, others will follow.
“Right now I don’t think the guys understand what it takes and what it means to accomplish that feat of winning a region game,” he said. “Once the guys realize they can win a region game, that’ll snowball into more victories and more confidence.”
Playing last Thursday allowed Coleman to put his eyes on this Thursday’s opponent, the Wilkinson County Warriors (1-0 region, 1-3 overall). He made the quick trip one county over Friday to watch Wilco host region opponent ACE Charter. The Warriors took a 20-6 lead into the locker room at the half and wound up winning 32-18 to get their first victory of 2020. The athleticism of head coach Keldrick Burke’s Wilco squad was the main thing that stood out to the second-year GMC Prep head.
“We can’t let those guys get loose on the outside against us,” said Coleman. “It’ll be a long night if they do. I feel like we have to play our game and be ourselves. If we can clean some things up and continue to learn how to play hard, I think we’ll put ourselves in a good position.”
Wilco and GMC share one common opponent so far this season, and that’s GISA school Creekside Christian Academy. Creekside manhandled the Bulldogs 51-0 to open the season then defeated the Warriors 40-14 on Oct. 2. GMC Prep has gotten tougher defensively and also added a new 1-2 punch in the offensive backfield since that season opener, so fans could be in for an even matchup this week.
GMC Prep and Wilkinson County are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday on Davenport Field.