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MHSAA previews: Wilkinson County to face key district test versus Hazlehurst

Woodville — The Wilkinson County High School Wildcats are off to a solid 2-0 start in district, but head coach Kenneth Brown said they have a tough match ahead of them against Hazlehurst High School.

“We feel pretty good going 2-0 in district,” Brown said. “We have three games left, and hopefully 2-0 helps build momentum to finish district off strong.”

Brown said they’d need the momentum and confidence in order to steal a win against the defending state champions.

“They’re No. 2 in the district,” he said. “They’ve only lost one game, so we’ll have our hands full. We have to perform to our best ability.”

Brown said his players must not feel intimidated, but instead, use Hazlehurst’s resume as motivation.

“The main thing is to stay focused and earn their respect,” he said. “Our players must let them know even though they’re the defending state champions, we’re going to play our best and hopefully we’ll come out of there on top.”

Wilkinson County hosts Hazlehurst at 7 p.m. Friday.

Franklin County High School

Meadville — When a team is desperate, they’re dangerous. Franklin County High School (3-4) is that desperate team vying for a playoff spot with not much time to reach its’ goals.

After dropping their last two district games, head coach Chris Calcote is looking at the glass half full.

“We lost two in a row, but we have to look at the bigger picture,” he said. “We still have a chance to make the playoffs.”

The Bulldogs must win two of their next three games to qualify for a playoff position, but Calcote said they’re looking for more than just a spot, they’re looking for seeding.

“We want to win all three to be the No. 3 seed,” Calcote said. “We don’t want to rank fourth, because they play the No. 1 seed in the first round.”

The next team standing in the Bulldogs’ way is Crystal Springs High School. Calcote said things must change if they want to win their last home game before heading to two consecutive road games.

“We have to find something besides our running game to win,” he said. “In the last couple of games, we haven’t been able to finish.”

Calcote said their depth chart on the injured list has also hindered their season, but he won’t let that issue affect the remainder of their season.

“Injuries hurt us a little, but we have what we have and we’re going to work with it,” Calcote said.

Franklin County hosts Crystal Springs at 7 p.m. Friday.

Jefferson County High School

Fayette — Jefferson County High School is paying no mind to their 2-4 record as head coach James Herrington said they have plenty of things to be excited about in this part of their season.

“There are two things that make it clear for us what we have to do,” Herrington said. “It’s homecoming for us, and this game can pretty much lock the playoffs up for us.”

With a playoff spot in close reach, Herrington said the homecoming festivities have been a little distracting this week, but he said he knows his players are focused on what’s most important.

As the Tigers prepare for Wesson High School Friday, Herrington said the bigger opponent would be themselves.

“We’re focusing on not doing things to beat ourselves,” he said. “It’s one thing to play against the other team or even the officials, but when you’re playing against yourself, it makes it so much harder to win the game.”

Their biggest flaws that they must overcome, Herrington said, is turnovers, tackling well and penalties.

Herrington said if they could win against Wesson, they’d be looking at a No. 2 seed in the playoffs.

Jefferson County hosts Wesson at 7 p.m. Friday.