Seperating the cream from the wheat

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 14, 2004

My old high school coach used to tell us that this is the time of year when the cream is separated from wheat.

I never was really sure if that was the correct analogy and our coach was a large individual, so I wasn't going to question his analogical accuracy.

After he finished speaking a few of us were left scratching our heads wondering what he was talking about.

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October is when the contenders are separated from the pretenders.

It's time to find out who's for real in the upcoming weeks as

three of the four schools in this area are in must-win situations.

Coach Alvin Briggs at Greenville High said that the playoffs start this week for his team.

He has never been so true.

Whenever a team starts a 10-game season 0-5, that's never a good thing. But, thanks to the miracles of the modern playoff system, the Tigers are not yet out of contention.

What better way to put your name in the playoff hat than to knock off a team in a worse situation than you are in.

Greenville plays Carroll Friday night. Carroll needs everyone else in the region to lose, plus two or three teams in four different regions to lose just for them to get to the No. 5 slot in the rankings.

OK, their situation is not that bad, but in order for them to get into the four-hole, they need help. Like the top four teams getting knocked off this week.

Greenville, on the other hand, is in control of their destiny. How far they go and whether or not they make it in as a No. 4 is entirely on them.

It's going to come down to how much testicular fortitude that this team has. If they can

win out, then hey, they're in the playoffs.

But, like Briggs said. Their playoffs start Friday.

A win is great, but a loss could be tragic.

The same thing holds true for Georgiana.

The Panthers won their first region game. But then haven't been able to get it together for their next two. They lost to Southern Choctaw and Leroy by a combined score of 40-21.

Although, a majority of the points given up were against Southern Choctaw. The Panther defense held Leroy to 15 points.

Coach Keith York said they did everything right they just ran out of time.

If they want their season to continue post October, York and his den of Panthers need to jump on the Flomaton Hurricanes and score early and often.

It's your first home game in a four weeks, have fun at it.

Put on a show for the crowd.

Now, McKenzie is in the situation Greenville is in. Their playoffs begin Friday night as well.

But the question that the Tigers are going to have answer

is are they able to rebound.

They were thumped last week

41-0 by Ariton.

A test of a team's metal has always been whether they could rebound from defeat.

Friday night the Tigers need to rise up and make some teams look bad. They can start by picking off Kinston and make it two wins in two years.

Of all the team's in Butler County, Fort Dale is the only team that's sitting pretty right now.

Speed Sampley has his boys running the ball control offense and physically whipping teams.

In the past two weeks, they have ran up 463 yards rushing. Believe me, I played on a team that ran a smash-mouth ball control offense. I have seen first hand what this can do to a defense. Especially a defense that's all size.

Friday night, they have Faith.

This is going to be a tough game because Faith rotates as many people into the game as Fort Dale does.


the Eagles play every one in order to wear their opponents down and it works. But, Friday night could potentially be a preview of a late-round playoff match-up. It's already unofficially for the area championship.

The high school games kickoff Friday at 7:00 p.m. and are on the road, except for Georgiana.

Fort Dale and Faith kickoff at 7:30 in Mobile.

For three teams, Friday night is the opening round of the playoffs. Who's going to show up and fight and who's going to roll over and die. We'll find out Saturday morning .

It's that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is Sports Editor of the Greenville Advocate. He can be reached at 382-3111 or via email at