Highlanders looking to come out fresh against Cosby

Published 6:43 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021


After an exciting week of high school football for squads around the county last Friday, area teams are ready to turn right around this week and do it all over again.

One team, the Cloudland Highlanders are back in action at Orr Field in Roan Mountain on Friday against the Eagles of Cosby after a week of rest during the past seven days.

While they were off last week, the Highlanders last contest was a loss against a highly ranked Carter County team in the form of the Hampton Bulldogs.

‘Landers head coach Zac Benfield spoke on the last contest, saying, “One thing that I made sure not to do for my squad was come out and make them feel bad about the loss. Sure we could have done things better, but there is a reason that Hampton is so highly ranked in 2-A.”

“We were obviously working hard and trying to improve moving forward, but I also wanted to make sure that these guys were having fun and not feeling down or disappointed.”

Regarding the previous week off for his team, Benfield expanded on how it can both help and hinder his team going onto this week.

“We had a couple guys that were beaten and banged up, so in terms of injuries it helps by giving us another seven days to help guys recover. On the other side of the coin, players can start to lose their focus on what is ahead, so making sure we are staying mentally sharp is key.”

Cloudland’s opponent this week, the Cosby Eagles come into this game without a win on their ledger, holding an 0-4 record. With that being said, Benfield shared how important it is for his team to stay at the same level of football they have been playing at.

“We have to make sure that we are continuing to play at the Cloudland standard, meaning that we would play at the same intensity whether we are playing a team like Coalfield or a team like Cosby. Having challenges and goals that you set for a game to help the team try and reach that goal is something that I have been doing, and it is something that motivates these guys to play to that standard.”

As stated, the Landers are back at Orr field, a place where Benfield enjoys playing because of the atmosphere. “The atmosphere at home is immaculate, with the fans and the community behind us getting loud helps the guys not only feed off of them but also off of each other.”

The kickoff between the Eagles and the Highlanders is set for 7:30 on Friday in  Roan Mountain.