Sports

November 8, 2013

Region title, state dreams

Act II of Dalton-Gilmer in Ellijay for championship

(Continued)

Coahulla Creek (2-7, 1-5) at Adairsville (6-3, 4-2)

For coach Jared Hamlin’s 17 seniors, it will be one last go around in a Colts uniform. On the flip side, the Tigers will be looking to finish out their regular season and Region 5-3A schedule strong and advance into the state 3A playoffs.

Especially tough for Hamlin will be the departure of this year’s group, of whom he has connected with from the start.

“It’s always tough, each and every year,” said Hamlin, whose team is 2-7 overall and 1-5 in league games. “You create such a bond with the kids because you are around them so much. They’re a fun group and really good guys. They’re extremely fun to be around.”

Hamlin sees every football experience as a teaching opportunity, and hopes his seniors will take what they’ve learned through the game and apply it to every day life.

“I was reading a quote last week, and it made so much sense, even though it was from Mike Ditka,” Hamlin said. “It said, ‘You are never a failure until you quit.’ It’s about life. If you quit now, you’re going to quit at something later that’s a lot more important than football. We talked about that tonight. When you finally quit something, you become a failure at that point in time. But if you keep going, you’re not going to fail. You might not always win, but you’re not going to be a failure. We want them to be great men when they leave here. Five, 10 or 15 years down the road some of the football lessons they have learned are going to roll over into their life, to help them in situations, because I know it’s helped me.”

Murray County (1-8, 0-6) at Coosa (5-4, 3-3)

Cellars seldom have nice views.

That’s certainly true with Murray County, which dwells at the bottom of Region 7-2A after losing all six league games and eight of nine overall. The only path to a more scenic vista for the Indians is a victory in a season-ending matchup against Coosa (5-4, 3-3) at Eagle Stadium in Rome.

Coupled with an Armuchee (1-8, 1-5) loss to Pepperell (3-6, 3-3), the Indians would at least have company in the dark district basement with the offseason to relish just their second on-field win since beating Pickens 20-13 in overtime, on Oct. 1, 2010.

In their last 79 games over eight seasons, the Indians have lost 71 times and that indicates that no opponent on the schedule ranks as a creampuff.

“Calhoun is the best team in the region, by far,” Indians coach Chad Brewer said. “You could put Dade County, Model, Pepperell and Coosa right up there after Calhoun. Coosa is good and we’ve got our hands full.”

The Eagles started 2-3, but have won three of their last four games, two by shutout.

“Coming into the season we thought .500 would be a good year because we’re so young,” Coosa coach Todd Wheeler said. “We’ve accomplished that.”

The Eagles still have hopes to reach the state playoffs, but not Murray, which has lost six straight — four by shutout — and was outscored 316-20 in doing so.

“They’ve had a hard time with consistency,” Wheeler said. “I know it’s frustrating, but you see some good things on tape.”

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