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McKenzie Tigers aim for new trend

When the McKenzie Tigers travel the short drive to Georgiana Friday night, it's their goal to start a new winning streak, and they want it to begin with the Panthers.

"You can see it in their eyes," said McKenzie Head Coach Shane Smothers. "The team means business - whenever someone mentions the Georgiana game, they get all charged up, and it is visible in their performance during practice."

Smothers said the team is very excited, and eager to do battle on Friday night.

"Everyone is squared away and excited; they all want this to be a special win," he said. "But they also understand that it will require hard work."

Smothers said his team philosophy is simple.

"We could be thinking about several games, but instead we are focusing on one game at a time - that is the bottom line," he said. "The team cannot wait until the next practice comes along - they are hitting with a fervor like I have never seen before."

Smothers said the Tigers consider this a war.

"They are handling this (the Georgiana game) as a battle - they are fighting each other in practice now, preparing for war come Friday night."

Coach Smothers said he sees no reason why this cannot be the beginning of a trend for the team.

"We want to start our own winning streak - and it all begins in Georgiana," he said. "I expect Georgiana to be prepared for the game - I am getting everyone prepared for anything that comes their way."

Smothers said the one disadvantage about the first game of the year is the lack of film.

"Because no one has played yet, there are no game films for us to view, to prepare our team to meet certain offensive positions by the opponent, so we are preparing them for everything possible," he said.

Smothers said the Tigers know well what is expected of them.

"I expect them to be strong, and win their games from here on out - but there is no disputing the fact that this rivalry is the strongest in the county - you can just see it in their eyes."

McKenzie will play against the hosting Georgiana Panthers on Friday night, with the kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Harmon Field.