And now, the game anyone around Class B has been waiting for.
Pond Creek-Hunter lost twice on its way to a Class B runner-up finish last season. Both defeats, first a 36-18 loss in Week 10, then a 50-19 margin in the Class B State Championship, came at the hands of Laverne.
On Friday the two teams, both of them undefeated and ranked No. 1 (Laverne) and No. 2 (PC-Hunter) in the state, play for the first time since Laverne’s title win and with a B-1 title on the line, so we asked both coaches a few quick questions about the big day.
Do you feel like your teams have this game circled on the calendar, so to speak?
Pond Creek-Hunter coach David Kerr: “I think so. Our kids, especially after losing in the finals to them after last year, they’ve been looking forward to playing against these guys.”
Laverne coach Tim Allen: “No, I really think they have kind of just taken it week-by-week. It took us a while to get back to looking like a team we wanted to be through two-a-days and our first scrimmage. It’s a new season, its a new team, regardless of how many guys are returning. They weren’t looking ahead past anybody.”
How is this matchup different than before?
Kerr: “I hope (it’s different). I feel like this year we’re a better team overall (than last year), but I feel like Laverne is every bit as good as they were last year. We hope we’ve made some strides to catch them because they were clearly the better team last year. It’s gonna take our best effort.”
Allen: “I think they’re a great team. They’re very athletic, they’re very well-coached. They play hard, they’re physical. All those things that you need to be a top team, they are. I don’t see any weakness in them … (Comparing this year and last is) hard to do. They’re good. They were good last year. They’re good this year.”
Does PC-Hunter feel like an underdog? Laverne the favorite, given the past year? Does this game solidify those roles for the postseason?
Kerr: “I don’t know if they really consider themselves the underdog. They know what lav had last year. I don’t think they look at themselves as a favorite, either. this is gonna be a tough job. We respect their team. We respect their program. They understand how big a game this is, obviously … As far as setting a tone, I don’t know if it does so much for the future. It might happen that neither one of us even makes it there. There’s a lot of football left to be played.”
Allen: “I don’t think so. Half the kids on my team are watching film in my house right now. They’re wanting to be prepared, they realize the quality of the team we’re playing, without a doubt."