“We’ve been fortunate and have had success in my first two years,” Childersburg head coach Adam Fossett said. “We’re having a good season right now. We’re sitting at 7-2. There’s no secret about our regular season goal: that’s to finish 8-2. I let the guys know that’s our goal and we need to take care of business and finish out this regular season and get that eighth win. I let them know the last time a Childersburg team won eight ball games in a season was in 1990. I don’t have a kid on the roster that was born the last time they won eight games in a season.”
Winterboro head coach Alan Beckett is aware of the tremendous challenge his team faces against Childersburg.
“Childersburg is like taking on an SEC team,” Beckett said. “They’re very impressive in every facet of the game. They’re very physical and they play with a lot of energy. Defensively, they definitely fly around. They’re very sound in their kicking game, they execute it really well. Offensively, they’re very impressive—they both stretch the field and run at you. They have a very impressive quarterback that has a great delivery, a good set of receivers, a couple of linemen that are very physical, and their backs are impressive as well.”
In a strange twist of fate, Fossett actually arranged for the two teams to play on the schedule while he was still head coach at Winterboro. In his four seasons at helm at Winterboro, Fossett recorded a 30-15 record, which included a 10-2 record and a trip to the second round of the playoffs in 2011. After that season, he left and became the head coach at Childersburg and helped the Tigers shutout the Bulldogs 49-0.
“At Winterboro, when I was there we had a couple of good seasons,” Fossett said. “We had already played Talladega two years in a row and were fortunate to beat them. We were building the program and building the mentality that we would play anybody. Our kids wanted a chance to play Childersburg and some of the Childersburg kids wanted a chance to play Winterboro. There are relatives on the team. I set up the game with the previous coach at Childersburg (Matt Brooks) and that was kind of how it was created. We’re only about nine miles apart. It’s a good county rivalry. It’s not going to cost a lot as far as travel for either school. It was just a no-brainer at the time and a good decision to make. I had no idea when I was making the schedule that I would end up down here. It’s kind of a unique situation. Contracts are always done way ahead of time and they’re for two years, so we did this a long time. Now, instead of being at Winterboro, I’m at Childersburg and get to go back and play at their place Friday night.”
For Winterboro (0-9), Friday marks senior night, a chance to honor the team’s senior class players.
“It’ senior night and we definitely want our seniors to leave with a lasting memory about their time playing football,” Beckett said. “So, it will be a big night for those guys.”
The Bulldogs are coming off a tough 20-19 road loss against Verbena, the team’s second one-point loss of the season.
“We scored the first three times we touched the ball,” Beckett said. “I thought we did some things well. We ran the ball extremely well. Defensively, I thought we did a good job of taking the stuff we had in the scouting report. I thought we played with a lot of energy. We turned it over five times and that definitely didn’t help our cause. We had three long touchdowns called back, which probably didn’t help our cause. Deshawn Garrett had some nice plays at linebacker. Michael Garrett continued to block well. Colby Wheeler has gone as hard as he can. Brady Wideman played hard. Jalen Whetstone gave a lot of hustle. Marcus McMeans had his best game defensively.”
Childersburg, coming off their third shutout win of the season against Holtville has had a solid week of preparation.
“We’ve really used this whole week to really focus on us and what we need to do to get better, not only for this week but to set the tone for the playoffs,” Fossett said. “Our opponents are who they are, and we have to take care of what we can control. We’ve worked on little things and making sure we take care of the little things. Honestly, we’ve had two really good days of practice and they haven’t been long, drawn-out practices. They’ve been pretty short practices, but we’ve gotten so much out of it and gotten so much better that in the past two days on the things we were making mistakes with that I feel pretty good about where we’re headed.”
Winterboro hosts Childersburg Friday at 7 p.m.