Happy Valley looks to build on big win

Published 4:43 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

The Warriors have a stranglehold on momentum, and are playing extremely well right now; after upsetting an undefeated South Greene Friday night. Coach Jason Jarrett understands what a big win like this past Friday night’s game can mean. “It allows us to control our own destiny; we are hoping this boosts our confidence moving forward. Once we got that monkey off our back and we got that first victory, it has propelled us forward and we are now playing with a lot of confidence,” Jarrett shared. The game plan Friday night started with their running game that seems to be getting better each week, “we had a ground and pound approach we knew we couldn’t match their team speed; they can score from any position. We had to play complementary football; we controlled 17:43 minutes of the first half; it kept their offense off the field, which was key, and we shortened the game. If a teenager can gain some confidence, you can sell them into what we are doing,” Jarrett added.  The defensive approach has focused on better tackling and flying around the ball; at key times, the Warriors showed this mentality as they were able to flush South Greene’s quarterback out of the pocket. “We don’t want guys to think so much we just want them to fly around and get numbers to the football,” Jarrett announced.

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What that win did was put the Warriors in a spot to do something they haven’t done in a while, namely host a TSSAA Playoff game. “It has been quite a few years since we have hosted a playoff game; we have had to travel down to Rockwood and Meigs County the last couple of years. If we can do what we are supposed to do and not be content with ourselves, it will be vital; we now must learn how to play consistently like this week in and week out,” Jarrett said. Coach Jarrett understands his team is on a roll right now after a win of this magnitude but the first thing he spoke of was putting this game behind them and looking forward. “We have to regroup, come back and prepare, put time in the film room and prepare every day like you are supposed to,” Jarrett contributed.

His team will now put their eyes on a 1-6 Cumberland Gap team, but records aside, Jarrett knows that this Panter team will present Happy Valley with a stiff challenge. “I have always been impressed with Coach McPherson and his staff they are disciplined, they don’t make mistakes, they have a running game too we have been running the football well. Heck, this game could be over in 45 minutes with two teams wanting to run the football. They’re straight T offense with all the misdirection can cause problems.” Records this time of the year really don’t matter, according to coach Jarrett. “1-6, 6-1 really don’t matter this time of the year you just want to be playing your best football right now,” Jarrett exclaimed.

A win like the Warriors had last week will put each team on notice and they will likely now get each team’s best shot. Coach Jarrett acknowledged this win could bleed down to other programs at Happy Valley that have recently struggled. “Athletics at Happy Valley have been tough sledding the last couple of years, and I have felt like this could be the team that could turn that around not just for football but basketball, baseball all sports!” Jarrett commented.