Dragons Go Blonde to Face Wylie in Rd 1 Action
Nov 10, 2016 10:36AM ● Published by Mike
The 2016 Dragons celebrate in the end zone after defeating Cedar Hill 37-33 at Dragon Stadium. Photo by SnappedDragons.com/S. Johnson
Black pants. Blonde hair.
It's that time of year again and head coach Hal Wasson admits that things feel a little different in the Dragons’ locker room this week.
After closing out the regular season, Southlake Carroll is gearing up for yet another playoff run.
“It’s a special time of year,” Wasson said. “It’s very rewarding for our seniors, our fans, our school district and our coaches. Everything is magnified from this point on. Our preparation and performance have to be at their peaks. There are no second chances.
“I was telling someone the other day that to win playoff games, you have to be at your best, you have to have great team chemistry, you have to play great defense and you have to have a physical running game.”
Southlake Carroll earned the top seed (Division II) out of District 5-6A after winning an outright district title. The Dragons knocked offHebron n the regular season finale and finished with a perfect record in district play.
And like last year vs Cedar Hill—that means Southlake Carroll will again get to host its opening round playoff game. This time against The Wylie Pirates who finished 5-5 overall and claimed the final playoff spot in District 6-6A.
“It means a lot to win an outright title and to be able to host a playoff game,” Wasson said. “This team has worked exceptionally hard. That’s not just lip service. But we have our work cut out for us this week. Wylie made a deep playoff run last year.”
Wylie did advance to the third round of the postseason a year ago, but the Pirates have been up and down in 2016 — they took care of business against lesser programs but also fell to area powerhouses.
With that said, the Pirates can put points on the board. They average more than 30 points per game, and Southlake Carroll is coming off a game in which it allowed the most points it had all year (34 vs. Hebron).
“They (Wylie) play really hard,” Wasson said. “They like to throw the ball around. They have a great quarterback (Emilio Ames) and several playmakers. We have to shore things up on defense. Some of last week’s mistakes were mental, but they might also have been because Hebron was the best offense we had seen.”
On the flip side of the ball, Wylie allows close to 30 points per contest, so this game could have the makings of a high-scoring affair. Wasson, however, made it clear that Southlake Carroll wants to keep its identity in the playoffs.
“They are physical on defense,” Wasson said. “They try to steal possessions on special teams and with turnovers. We just have to focus on us and continue to play our style in order to make a run in this tournament.”