Twas a better Friday night, thank you

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2001

I don't want anyone to ever say that I was guilty of not giving credit where due, so therefore I will give the accolades, post haste.

I felt much better about the crowds at the past Friday night football games.

As far as Greenville Academy and Ft. Dale were concerned, the stands were at their usual fullness.

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But Greenville High School was much better (albeit homecoming) n the only place there where vacant seats could be found were on the visiting (Selma) side, which tells me one very important thing: our kids are important to us.

And I can't help but feel that a difference was seen in the performance of the Tigers on Friday night, because many different things combine to make for a positive conclusion, or win.

While I would be the first to say the players and the coaching staff, headed by former Tigers player Alvin Briggs would get the biggest portion of credit for the game's outcome they, after all, did the work

(and a grand job at that I might add), there was definitely some electricity in the air, stemming from the fact that anyone looking from the field to the stands saw the dizzying effect of a full stadium of cheering fans.

And it made me feel proud. Those Tigers worked their tails off all last week, to get offense in the same direction as defense, and it was evident in their play during the game.

But one thing many people may not realize is that Greenville High School still has a grand chance at playoffs this year.

You see, this last game with Southside-Selma was actually the first area (region) game for Greenville, which makes them 1-0 for the area, despite their 3-1 status for the season.

And that is great. Looking at their schedule for the rest of the season, they have five more area games to go, although there are still six to be played during the regular season.

That, my friends, sums up to some very impressive possibilities, of which I, most of all am not ruling out anything.

In fact, although I don't do it often (even from Deep Left Field) I am going to go out on a limb and say that we have three teams this year I expect to see playoff action.

Greenville High School, because I don't see them having that much difficulty with their remaining schedule n five of the six left are area games, but the first of them is not, when they face Stanhope-Elmore this weekend, in Tiger territory.

Carroll-Ozark, Charles Henderson-Troy, Wilcox County, Hillcrest-Evergreen and Monroeville are their remaining games that count toward playoff standings.

I think Troy may give them a challenge, but not anything they are not capable of overcoming.

McKenzie High School n what can I say, except that first-year Head Coach Shane Smothers has set those Tigers on fire! I honestly believe they will do just as he said, when he told parents to reserve their playoff tickets at the beginning of the season.

And I believe that Ft. Dale Academy will too be headed to playoffs, provided they get beyond this little adjustment period they seem to be going.

Head Coach "Speed" Sampley and Defensive Coordinator Jimmy Gardner could be seen on Monday afternoon working the fire out of those Eagles, and they had it truly going on, from where I was watching at the south-end goal post.

The Eagles will be traveling to Marion this weekend, but that is one of three remaining region games for them n when the pressure gets applied all this week through practices, Speed will certainly pull them through, and having watched Jimmy in action both at practice and on the sidelines during the game, he has those guys where they need to be, when they need it most.

I think that Greenville Academy and Georgiana have a season of adjusting to do.

Both have new head coaches that started out late in the practice season, and some things don't happen over night.

No one should blame anyone for needing to adjust to change.

A former colleague of mine and an instructor at the Greenville Fire Department used to say, as one of his most-coined phrases, "the only thing constant is change."

Think about that, and the more that you do, the more it makes sense.

Remember, sportsfans, all the participants on the teams are superstars.

They aren't professional players, but high school students, whose primary purpose still is to get an outstanding education, so as to mark their place in this vast marble we call Earth.

Until next week, this is your crazy correspondent signing off, and saying, look really hard, and you will find me out there, way out in Deep Left Field.