By Anthony Rhoads
Lovejoy has had some good football teams in the last few years but not since 1999 has a Lovejoy squad reached the level of success that's been achieved this year.
The Wildcats are 10-0 and are primed for their first-round matchup against Coffee County tonight at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
"It's been the ?Johnnies and Joes' not the ?Xs and Os,'" Lovejoy head coach Al Hughes said. "The ?Xs and Os' have been the same with the P.E., fun and gun, fling-nut offense. This time, we're plugging in the athletes and they've made all the difference."
There have been a lot of guys stepping up this season but perhaps the main ?Johnny or Joe' this year has been quarterback Kisan Flakes. Flakes, who has several NCAA Division I programs looking at him, has directed a Lovejoy offense that has produced nearly 35 points per game.
Hughes also credits his coaching staff with leading the team to the region title this year.
"Our assistants have done and excellent job," he said. "It's been a real pleasure seeing a group of men working together like they have to get these kids ready to play and win. I'm fortunate."
With the undefeated regular season, there's certainly been some talk about how far the Wildcats will go in the playoffs but Hughes doesn't want to focus on that right now. The main job is to win tonight.
"We're not talking about the Dome," Hughes said. "The focus is to get to the mountaintop and do it one game at a time."
Hughes expects Coffee to be a tough first-round opponent.
"I think Coffee is a big, physical, typical south Georgia team," he said. "They have athletes, strengths and speed. We've got to be ready to play on both sides of the ball. We've got to be aggressive and confident on defense. We can't let them dictate to us what we do on offense."