BluePrints Sports Editor Matteo Castile predicts a Cedar Shoals High School victory.
The 49th Classic City Championship will take place on Friday, Sept. 11, and the Cedar Shoals High School football team feels optimistic as they prepare to play their crosstown rival, the Clarke Central High School football team.
“We are going to win. We are going to fight for it. We all want it more than anyone else does, including Central. Our work ethic exceeds anything they could be doing,” senior cornerback De’Treviunte Cooper said.
The team has hadtwo weeks to prepare for this game after losing to Elbert County High School 40-14 on Friday, Aug. 28. The CSHS team has not taken the week off lightly, even practicing on Labor Day.
“I missed my family cookout to come be with my team and to practice. I’ve put this game before anything else in my life,” Cooper said.
Despite a well-rounded roster full of veteran leadership, senior Jaguars are still seeking their first win against CSHS in their high school careers. This season, they have been set back by a key injury.
Senior defensive back and running back Greg Smith went down with a high ankle sprain against ECHS. However, the team does not plan to let down.
“Their team doesn’t have anybody that should worry us too much. Even without me playing my team will rise to the occasion and shut them down,” Smith said.
When the Jaguars step onto the practice field, their only focus is on this game.
“We’ve put everything we have into preparing for this game, there’s nobody that can stop us,” junior quarterback Rodney Dillard said.
Through their sheer commitment and work ethic, the Jaguars can pull off a close win against the Gladiators. This will be a very close and relatively high scoring game for both teams, as each side features explosive offenses.
“This is not just any other game, this is the City Championship, we work harder, run harder, and go harder in preparation for this game more than any other,” varsity head football coach Scott Wilkins said.
Cedar Shoals will rely heavily on sophomore running back Jaivanni McDavid’s ability to accelerate off the line of scrimmage and sophomore running back Jephari Colbert’s diverse skill set to accumulate multiple touchdowns against the Gladiator defense, which I predict will catapult the CSHS team to a 31-24 victory over CCHS.