Green Wave face Weir in playoffs

Published 12:14 am Thursday, November 12, 2009

NATCHEZ — During the offseason, Cathedral School Head Coach Craig Beesley and his players set a goal of making the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

On Oct. 16, after a heartbreaking 10-7 overtime loss to rival St. Aloysius High School, the chances of the Green Wave meeting that goal looked slim.

After that loss, however, the Cathedral seniors decided that, instead of feeling sorry for themselves and quitting, they weren’t going to be denied that preseason goal.

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The Green Wave would go on to win their next three games, finishing in third place in Region 4-1A with a 4-3 district record.

“The seniors just didn’t want it to end,” quarterback Dylan White said. “We’ve been playing with everything we’ve got these last few weeks, both on offense and defense.”

Now Cathedral (4-6 overall) is set to travel to Weir High School Friday for the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs.

“It feels good (having made the playoffs),” White said. “It shows that we stayed together (as a team) through the hard times. We’ve lived up to what Coach Beesley wanted us to do and what we wanted ourselves to do.”

Beesley said the difference between his team before the loss to St. Al and now is in the mindsets of his players.

“Different kids have stepped up for us each week these last few weeks,” Beesley said. “The mental attitude of this team has changed. Before, we hoped we could win. Now, we think we can win.”

That attitude is something Beesley said he thinks makes all the difference in the world.

“When you’re talking about 16- to 17-year-olds, if they think they can win, they’re going to give that extra effort.”

Postseason play also means an extra week of practice, which Beesley said is advantageous for his younger players.

“We are a young team. We have a lot of first-year starters that are learning each week, and it’s big for them to have an extra week of practice.”

The Green Wave have a tall task ahead of them when they travel to Weir Friday. The Lions finished the regular season 9-2 overall, and 8-1 in district play.

“They’re a fast and physical team,” Beesley said. “They like to run a lot. Their fullback, Cramer Miller, has been getting the ball anywhere from 25 to 40 times a game the last four games they’ve played. He’s a workhorse, and the center of their offense, so we’ll have to be able to stop him.”

White said that the Green Wave would have to keep doing the things that have made them successful these past few weeks if they want a chance to win.

“On defense, the key will be getting the correct reads on their running plays,” White said. “On offense, we just have to keep playing like we have the last few weeks and keep scoring points.

Kickoff at Weir is set for 7 p.m. Friday.