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Prep football: Block hopes to go further this year

jonesville — The regular season was important for Block High School head coach Benny Vault Jr., but it is not the reason he coaches.

The Bears won a district title and piled up eight wins during the regular slate, but Vault said he is glad the postseason starts today.

“I don’t even know why they make us play a regular season,” Vault joked. “(The playoffs are) what we play for. We’ve been waiting on this one since the first day of practice.”

The Bears’ head coach is pleased with the way his team performed this season, and knows his players are ready to take the next step, he said.

“These kids are excited,” he said. “We have a group of overachievers that work hard. It’s a close group, and they are excited. We had a mission at the beginning of the season, and that second part of it is here, and they are ready to try to make a championship run.”

Block’s run will start tonight when it hosts Delhi Charter School.

Delhi Charter runs an offense similar to Block’s, and fans at the first-round LHSAA Class 1A playoff game should not go expecting to see the ball in the air very often.

“They play a lot of power football and run it right at you,” Vault said. “They don’t try to trick you and just run it down your throat. We might not have any grass left on the field after the game tomorrow.”

Vault has preached to his players all week about not being fooled by Delhi Charter’s 4-6 record.

“It doesn’t make a difference what their record is,” he said. “Right now, everybody is 0-0, and we have to play our best game if we plan on advancing.”

Block has made the playoffs but fallen short of the state semifinals in each of the past two seasons, and Vault said the pain of those defeats added to the playoff experience make his upperclassmen dangerous this year.

“(The last two years) make a world of difference,” Vault said. “We don’t have that many (upperclassmen), but the experience and leadership of those guys plays a big part.”

The Bears will host their opening-round game, and Vault said it is good for his players to have the opportunity to stay home for the playoffs.

“Playing at home is always an advantage,” he said. “We get our home folks to come out and cheer, and it’s like a regular Friday home game. We are put in a normal situation that we’ve been accustomed to.”

Block (8-2) and Delhi Charter (4-6) will kick off at 7 p.m.