One game stands in between Lovelady and a trip to a state championship final. It’s a platform the Lions football program has never played on before.
Lovelady has done everything right you could possibly do up to this point, writing program history with their undefeated season and they're not ready to drop those pens just yet. However, looking to halt the writings of a new chapter is Refugio.
2006 was the first and only time the Lovelady Lions made it to the state semifinal until now.
“I remember in 4th grade when the team went into the state semifinal and the community acted just like they are now in supporting them. I never would have thought we'd be in those shoes,” said slot receiver Jacob Jeffus.
This go-around looks a little more promising considering the team has made school history.
In '06 Lovelady finished 12-3 and this year the Lions have had their best season ever at 14-0.
“Just to know you're one of the only schools still playing in Houston County is a great feeling,” said defensive end Taylor Connell.
“To be one of the four teams left playing in the state at our division is always a wonderful feeling,” said running back Emanual Williams.
As a potential state title dangles in their near futures, the Lions are pushing those feelings of an undefeated season to the side and are looking to make the biggest statement in the history books- giving Lovelady their first-ever football state title.
“It doesn't really matter about the record,” said Williams. “Once you get to the state semifinal every team's a good team.”
Refugio is the next obstacle Lovelady must overcome. After beating great teams like Beckville in the dwindling seconds of the game and beating a former undefeated Shelbyville team, the Lions feel momentum is going their way.
“We've stepped up to every challenge up to this point so we're not going to back down,” said head coach Kerry Therwhanger. “We understand if we do our job it's going to be hard to score against us. Then if we execute offensively with the guys we got, we can put up some points. We haven't made many mistakes with our special teams so right now we're as confident as we could be.”
“We're going in confident but we still have to respect them. They can do a lot of damage if we let them,” said Connell. “They're pumped. They've been here before so they may be relaxed about it but we're going in excited and ready to hurt them.”
“The further we've gotten into the playoffs, the lower the scores have been for us and I think it kind of shows the character of our team. When the going gets tough we don't just lay down. We're able to play through adversity,” said Williams.
Lovelady is sure to face some adversity against Refugio who has been ranked second in the state for most of the year.
The game will be in Georgetown Friday night starting at 7 o’clock.
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