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Highlanders hoping to bounce back for conference opener 

BY AUSTIN ALEXANDER 
STAR CORRESPONDENT 
 
ROAN MOUNTAIN- This past Friday’s game wasn’t exactly what the Cloudland Highlanders had in mind, but a solid first-half effort showed there’s a lot of potential in the team.
 
After a 1-2 start, the Landers are looking to get back in the win column this week against Hancock County in the team’s conference opener. 
 
A lot can be said for the effort Cloudland has shown in its first three games as despite being the smaller school, they’ve put in solid efforts. This is something Coach Scott Potter says we should be able to continue to see from the Highlanders.
“We are getting better every week,” Potter said when describing his team’s effort. “(We’ve) got to get in better shape and get a few players back healthy.”
The upcoming matchups on the Cloudland schedule, however, do have much bigger implications than their 3 openers which is something Coach Potter says is extremely important for the overall tone of the rest of the season.
With two consecutive conference games, it’s all hands on deck for the Highlanders.
“This group is dedicated so they understand what they have to do,” Potter stated knowing his team is capable of wins.
Coach Potter also said how appreciative he and the rest of the team are of the community support and the patience they’ve shown in a team that they love so much.
As far as what it will take for the win this week, well that comes down to a combination of things. Executing physically will always be a big task, but Coach Potter says that the biggest may be the unforced errors.
“We’ve got to stop the mental mistakes so we can finish drives on offense and stop drives on defense,” Potter said about his team’s need to not hurt themselves. “We just need to trust and execute.”
In a season and time of uncertainty, every high school football team in the country is struggling with the unknown and lack of normalcy. When asked about who had really taken leadership and risen to the occasion on this team, the head coach said it’s no one person.
This truly is a team effort,” Potter told about how his team is dealing with the unique circumstances. “I’m amazed by the senior and junior class leadership, but even more amazed with the underclassmen”s willingness to work hard and help the team anyway they can.”
The focus for the Highlanders this week is the same that it is every week and that’s what has made the team consistent. Doing what the Highlanders do best is the recipe for a win on Friday.
This Friday’s game on Roan Mountain kicks off at 7:30 pm as the Cloudland Highlanders welcome the Hancock County Indians to Orr Field.