Bringing Franklin County to MCHS Homecoming
By Nick Nunn
There are a lot of factors coming into play this week for the homecoming game against Franklin County, which have relatively little to do with the opponent at hand, and more to do with a couple of circumstances surrounding the game; that is, injuries on the roster and homecoming itself.
For most of the students, faculty, and staff members, homecoming is a great time for the school to come together as a whole by boosting their spirit and sense of community.
But for Head Coach Bill Malone, it is also a huge distraction for the members of his team, whom he has spent the entire year honing, like a well-used knife.
“Homecoming is supposed to be fun. I want it to be fun. I want the kids to enjoy it and revel in what is one of the biggest weeks of the school year,” said Malone. “At the same time, I want to make sure that our guys understand that all this stuff will not be worth a thing if we don’t win the game on Friday.”
Being the head coach, Malone’s goals and priorities always have to do, not only with the health of his players, but with the success of the team.
“You’ve got to get through the week of practice and, hopefully, stay healthy; then play the game and be able to win it. This is coming off a week where we don’t have school, and then a week where you’ve go to school, but everyone’s dressed up like pirates and coaches.”
[Note: During the interview with Malone, one of the football players came into the office to show off his “Coach Malone” costume.]
“It takes what mental edge you try to sharpen away from your kids.”
A big concern for Coach Malone throughout the season has been how much the team relies on a certain number of players.
“We are confident, but, at the same time, we understand how fragile we are with depth still being an issue,” said Coach Malone.
Last week, Coach Malone’s concern came into play during the game against East Jackson.
Very early in the game against Jackson County, Michael Gray suffered a knee injury (he strained his MCL), which affected the personnel on the field.
Because Melvin Davis was also out because of a knee injury, Coach Malone had to go deeper into his bench to find playmakers.
“We scored the first touchdown and realized what [Gray’s injury] was, and, after that, we went with Sam Couch,” said Malone.
Couch, who has been a regular for the JV team this year, was able to perform well in the game on Friday.
“Sam is exactly what we want in a football player, we got some great work out of him. We expect to see a lot of good things out of him in the next three-and one-half years.”
Franklin County itself, gauged upon its record for the season, which is now 0-4 in the region and 1-7 overall, doesn’t appear to be a formidable opponent, but Malone believes that to judge Franklin County just on that account would be a dangerous fallacy.
“Their record is very deceiving; Franklin County has been a thorn in Morgan County’s side all the way back,” said Malone. “[We’re] very scared of having to play Franklin with all of the things that go along with homecoming wrapped up in it.”
“Their quarterback is as accurate as anyone we will have played this year,” said Malone. “And they have running backs that can catch it.”
Franklin County has been able to come out on top of Morgan County more often than not in recent years, but certain aspects of their play is comforting to Coach Malone so far.
“I’m extremely encouraged that Oconee was able to beat them.”
All things considered, this week’s game against the Franklin County Lions should be a closely matched game surrounded by all of the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious homecoming.
In addition to the Pink-Out that will be taking place for the homecoming game this week, Friday will be a busy day.
At 8:30 a.m., the senior parade will begin and will be followed by the senior class picture in the stadium.
A pep rally will take place in the new gym at 10:05 a.m.
After the pep rally, all of the seniors are invited to come out to the senior picnic.
At halftime during the game Friday night, the band’s halftime show will give way to the Homecoming Court, when one of 19 female representatives of the student body will be chosen to be Homecoming Queen of 2012.
Printed in the October 25, 2012 edition