Thomas County Central has passed the first part of its season-long test.
Time for a break.
Coming off a 34-14 win over Class AAAAAA Tift County, the Yellow Jackets are off this week before the start of Region 1-AAAAA play. It's been an impressive start for Central, which has wins over Thomasville, Cairo and Marist on its resume.
“It's passed expectations,” Central coach Bill Shaver said. “I thought a good goal would be to go 3-2 against those five teams. To come out 4-1 and really have a chance to win that other one, play really good in that game, we feel really good about where we are.
“But all those were basically preseason games. Now the ones, as coach (Ed) Pilcher used to always say the “money games,” now they all start counting. Our next game is a huge one.”
The Oct. 5 clash with Bainbridge is “huge” for many reasons. It'll be the first region game for both teams. It'll once again mark the return of Pilcher, the coach who led Central to five state championships, back to Thomas County Stadium. The game is also expected to pit the top two teams in the region.
“I'm really kind of regretting the favor I did for coach Pilcher. We were scheduled to play this game next to last game, Nov. 2 date,” Shaver said. “He had another team he could play on that date so he asked me to move this game forward. I kind of did him a favor. I really wished we didn't have them as the first region game and after an off week, too. It's not like we need two weeks to prepare for them.
“We got what we got. Obviously, it's going to be a big game. Lee County's still undefeated. I think you've got to throw them in the mix too. Obviously, if you lose to Bainbridge, then you're automatically two games behind them because they'd have to lose two games before you get in front of them. It's a huge game to kind of put you in the driver's seat, as far as the No. 1 seed.”
For full details, see Thursday's edition of the Times-Enterprise.