With a healthy squad and a focused coaching staff, the 8–1 Alcona Tigers are preparing for their first playoff game in six years, as they travel to take on the Inland Lakes Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs are also 8–1, but it’s the postseason now, and those records mean nothing as everyone is 0–0.
“It’s win and move along or it’s lose and go home, so I think you can throw those records right out the door and kids will be focused in on what they need to do, and it doesn’t matter if that team is 3–6 or 8–1, they’re dangerous,” said Alcona head coach Jason Somers. “They’re there for a reason, so we have to match their intensity.”
Last season, Alcona’s enrollment was too large, which cost them a shot at the MHSAA playoffs. This year, with that enrollment dwindling, they’re in and ready to prove themselves.
“The team is really excited about this opportunity;” said Somers. “They talked about it early in the football season that this was a goal of theirs, and to not be able to go last year when they had a pretty good team and then to see it come to fruition this year, they’re pretty excited and pretty well focused, and I think they’re ready to go.”
Despite the opponent across from them, the Tigers don’t plan to stray from the game plan. Staying focused on what they can control is the number one priority.
“Stay focused on our game plan, play really well, try to play as much mistake free football as we can, and then let the chips fall where they may, so no real change here, just playing one game at a time,” said Somers.
With those teams both coming into this matchup with lots of talent, Somers is anticipating a great game.
“I think these are two really evenly–matched teams,” he said. “We each lost to St. Ignace. We lost early in the season. I think they lost a couple weeks later, so I think both teams have been improving since then, and so it should be a really good game tomorrow night.”
Alcona and Inland Lakes kicks off in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs Friday night at 7pm.