McKenzie prepping for postseason run

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The 2013 season has been a year of setting and achieving goals for the McKenzie Tigers, and it’s an approach that has clearly delivered results.

One of the very first goals that McKenzie head coach Josh McLendon set for his players was making the playoffs and, once that goal became a reality, hosting the first round of the playoffs.

“The fact that we accomplished both goals is just a testament to the kids and how hard they’ve worked this year,” McLendon said.

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But for Friday night, the Tigers have just one goal — defeating the Pleasant Home Eagles, regardless of where they are in postseason standings.

For McLendon, the only thing that matters Friday night is the fact that the season isn’t over with and, despite Pleasant Home’s recent struggles, finishing the year strong has become the new No. 1 goal.

“Good teams don’t let an opponent’s record dictate how they play, what they do and how they prepare,” McLendon said. “And we’ve got to prepare like it’s any other game because every game is important.”

Despite the fact that the Eagles are at 1-6 on the year, the danger they present to the Tigers is a real one nonetheless, and their physicality ensures that they’re a team that won’t shy away from a challenge.

“They’re very big, they’re very physical and they’re going to come right at us,” McLendon said.

“This is a big game for them because this is a rivalry game between the two teams, and it’s going to be a tough test.”

Most of McKenzie’s practices this week will focus on self-improvement just as much as Pleasant Home, though, and it’s ironing out those mistakes that McLendon hopes will serve them best in the postseason. And despite earning home contest in the first round of the playoffs, learning how to play on the road is essential to success.

“We’ve got to go over there and play, so we’ve got to be focused from the beginning,” McLendon said. “One of our goals this week is to be focused from the beginning and hopefully come out and have a fast start.”

Kickoff for the Eagles and Tigers is set for 7 p.m. in Pleasant Home.