By Hayden Tucker, staff writer
Southwest Covenant football has the chance to cap off a historic season for their program Friday against Medford.
The Patriots (8-0) host the Cardinals (6-3, 5-1) in a game that decides their fate in the district standings. A win grants them the district title and an undefeated season, both of which is unprecedented in Southwest Covenant’s history.
Being crowned district champions is a goal they set for themselves early on.
“That would be huge,” coach Trey Cloud said. “That was one of our goals coming into the season is to win our district. That would be the first time that ever happened here.
“It’s one of those ‘continuing the program’ goals. I think the boys see it as that and they also see it as an individual goal.”
The Patriots’ record is marked with wins, quality ones at that.
They’ve out-ranked their eight opponents 422-68 with six of them ending in mercy rules. Plowing through the competition isn’t something they expected before the season began, however, it was a possibility.
“We never set that goal,” said Cloud. “I don’t think it necessarily surprised us, but I think it was a fruit of the labor. They worked hard, and they definitely could do it. I don’t know if they knew they could, but I was hoping we could run the table through our season.”
Southwest Covenant didn’t set expectations at a perfect season season, but success in winning was planned.
“I don’t ever set goals in terms of going undefeated,” Cloud said. “We want to win but my goals are more based on playoff performance and the end of the line. Winning your district is the number one way to set yourself up in the playoffs. That’s something we knew we would have to do if we wanted to make a run this year.”
Cloud and his team aren’t looking too far ahead.
Stopping a Medford offense will be a daunting task. Halting the Cardinal run game and slowing down a strong quarterback won’t be easy, but it is necessary to prove they’re an elite program.
“I think they’re a pretty good team,” Cloud said. “They run the ball pretty well, their quarterback can throw the ball. He’s a tough kid, he’s hard to bring down but he can also get the ball to where it needs to be through the air. All around they’re a solid team, they’re very aggressive.
“We need to play well, it’s going to be a test and a great test to start out playoffs.”
Whether they finish the season with a win or not, they view this as a test of their strength heading into the post season.
“I want them to show toughness,” said Cloud. “I want them to show class. I want them to be prepared for the next weeks ahead of us.
“This is not a win-or-die game, but it will prepare you for the next four which will be win-or-die.”
Southwest Covenant faces Medford this Friday at home. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.