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Highlanders hopeful for a deep playoff run

BY AUSTIN ALEXANDER
STAR CORRESPONDENT
ROAN MOUNTAIN – After a cold Friday night win last week, the Cloudland Highlanders are hopeful to replicate the same result this week when they welcome the Green Wave of Midway into Roan Mountain.

After a tumultuous and uncertain season, this week’s start to the playoffs is a sight that many thought we wouldn’t see this year. The Highlanders know to keep the dream going, it will be no easy task.

Coming off a sloppy win against Sullivan North, the Highlanders are hoping to use the momentum as a jumpstart to a good playoff run.

The biggest part of this momentum for Cloudland? Focus. At least that’s according to Coach Scott Potter.

It was big for the Highlanders to not play their best and still come away with the win. The defense was solid and the running game was poised, but something lacked when it came to finding the big plays, something Cloudland will have to find to win this week.

Moving past a sluggish week can be tough as the Highlanders will have to make sure to keep a short memory and put last week behind them. Midway finished with the same 6-4 record as Cloudland so the matchup looks pretty evenly stacked.

In a game versus a similar opponent, both teams won by 30 points or more.

But the numbers can say whatever, what counts is the players on the field.

The mindset for the game is simple according to Coach Potter, “focus and effort”.

Cloudland has to play their brand of football and not worry about Midway. It’s easier said than done, but the Highlanders have to eliminate the little problems and play at what Coach Potter calls “maximum effort.”

Coach Potter said the two big keys he’s preaching to his team this week is limit mistakes and giving out that maximum effort. If the Highlanders do those two things, they should be in good hands.

The first round of Division 1 Class 1A Tennessee high school state playoffs kicks off this Friday at 7 pm, as the Cloudland Highlanders host the Midway Green Wave.