Bauxite will open his 2022 playoff run at dwelling towards Nashville tonight.
Both playoff appearances and internet hosting duties could also be mere formalities for some statewide packages, however for a Bauxite roster that was dwelling final 12 months’s postseason, they’re years within the making.
Bauxite blamed the playoffs in coach Caleb Perry’s first season. The Miners defeated Huntsville within the first spherical of the 2020 prolonged playoffs earlier than dropping to Dumas a spherical later. They then went 2-8 in 2021 and missed the playoffs totally.
Now, Bauxite (7-3) enters the playoffs because the No. 3 4A-4 and hosts longtime 4A-7 rivals and fellow No. 3 seed Nashville (7-3).
Bauxite and Nashville have spent the final 12 years as convention opponents and even confronted one another within the second spherical of the 2018 playoffs.
In 13 matchups from 2010-21, Bauxite by no means gained and misplaced each recreation, averaging 32.2 factors.
Perry mentioned he emphasised to his group not solely the significance of internet hosting tonight’s recreation, but additionally the historical past of Bauxite vs. Nashville.
“It’s definitely something we talked about this week because it’s been a while since we’ve hosted a game and that was a first,” Perry mentioned. “Last week that was type of a spotlight. And then, you understand, I informed the blokes a number of instances, bauxite by no means beat Nashville. [But] This is the 12 months it should occur. So this will likely be a primary for us, too.”
Today is the first home playoff game at The Pit since 2009. Perry said he was pleased to have “legitimately” secured his first playoff spot with Bauxite this season. He said he’s looking forward to hosting more in the future with the kids he’s coming but is mostly focused on this season’s run.
“Hopefully we’ll do that extra typically, however first we’ve to care for enterprise [today]and we really feel like we are able to make some noise within the playoffs.
Bauxite has to make this run with out its beginning quarterback Hunter Ferrell.
Ferrell, who’s affiliated with the University of Arkansas-Monticello, suffered a season-ending knee damage in a loss to Clinton on Oct. 7, which is able to sideline him for the rest of his senior season
With Ferrell out and his proposed backup Avery Heidelberg lacking each recreation since August by way of damage, Perry and the Miners have turned to defenseman Marcus Wimberly for quarterback duties.
Wimberly, a sophomore, was the ninth-grade quarterback in 2021, so Perry wasn’t too involved about him being subsequent in line. However, it meant an adjustment to what miners do on offense and the way they give the impression of being to assault groups.
“The players really rallied around Marcus,” Perry mentioned. “It definitely changed our play-calling a bit, but we’ve kind of adjusted and feel pretty settled into what we’re doing right now.
Ferrell won’t be on the field tonight, although he may be nearby and donning a coach’s headset, but his absence has become a rallying cry for the Miners in the month since his injury. The team shouted “Play for six” in honor of Ferrell’s quantity earlier than breaking their group throughout apply and video games.