By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Though they have an indoor practice facility, the Greenville Lions practiced out in the rain on Monday in preparation for the 2013 football finale on Friday at Sherman.
They practiced on the field turf at T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium rather than in the protected Roy Q. Traylor Athletic Complex. It was part of Greenville coach Marvin Sedberry’s plan to get the Lions ready for the elements and for the Bearcats.
“I know this time of year you could get anything,” Sedberry said of the weather. “You can get most anything close to that Red River. I figure we might as well (practice in the rain) just in case. We don’t want that to be an excuse.”
The 0-9 Lions will be taking on a 3-6 Bearcat that’s in different position for this time of year. Normally Sherman by now has already clinched a playoff berth. The Bearcats rested their starters against Greenville through much of the second half in three previous victories of 54-7 in 2010, 41-0 in 2011 and 27-14 last year.
But Sherman ranks sixth in District 13-4A this year with a 2-4 record and will be missing one of the four district’s four playoff berths. Denison, at 5-1, has locked up one playoff berth. Wylie, McKinney North, Wylie East and Lucas Lovejoy are all tied for second place with 4-2 records and will decide the other three playoff representatives pending the outcome of Friday’s games.
Sherman’s head coach G.J. Kinne told the Herald Democrat that the Bearcats will be playing for pride on Friday night.
“We haven’t been in this situation before,” he told Bill Spinks. “If I know anything about our kids, they have a lot of pride and they play hard. That’s all we can expect from them. We know what Greenville’s record is, but you gotta play for pride.”
Sedberry said Sherman still has a good football team.
“Their record is not an indication of what they have,” he said.
“They’re not as athletic as they have been in the past,” said Sedberry. “They’re still big. They’ve got good size. Their quarterback’s been hurt. They took their running back and put him back there and he’s done a pretty good job.”
Tre Mask has taken over at quarterback and was 3-of-7 passing for 44 yards in the Bearcats’ 17-10 loss last week to Wylie. Mask rushed for 108 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries to go over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season.
Greenville finished with 294 total yards in last week’s 64-14 loss to Denison but gave up 586, including 99 yards on one play: a pass from quarterback Devon Blanton to wide receiver Jaleel Dade. That big pass play followed a Greenville fumble lost inside the Denison 1-yard line when the Lions were trailing 21-0.
“From that fumble to that pass, it felt like the bottom fell out,” said Sedberry. “You fumble the ball and then that 99-yard touchdown pass just opened the flood gates.”