Eager is one word to describe the Carrollton High School football team's mentality heading into tonight’s 7:30 Region 7-AAAAA road showdown at Paulding County.
Sidelined last Friday with an open date, the Trojans (6-2, 4-2 Region 7-AAAAA) are itching to charge back into action and get back to their winning ways following the Oct. 12 setback to No. 10 Kell.
“It seems like it’s been forever ago since we’ve played, and it seems like it’s been forever ago since we’ve won,” Trojan head coach Sean Calhoun said. “I don’t enjoy getting beat, especially when you have to wait two weeks to get a chance to get that taste out your mouth, and our kids feel the exact same way.”
With no game to look forward to, the third-year head coach used that opportunity to switch up their normal routine.
“We changed some things up on our bye week that we haven’t done the last couple of years,” Calhoun said. “We did some more competition stuff, did some more best-on-best and worked on some different game scenarios and that was really good for us.”
Carrollton entered the break on a down note after being outpaced in a 31-10 home loss to the Longhorns.
Calhoun talked about two major points of emphasis the Black and Gold have been harping on since the loss.
“One is make the play. Make the play that you’re coached to do and you’re put on the field to do,” Calhoun said. “Not the super-human play, but the simple and easy things at a very high level. If we can do that consistently, the chances of us going where we want to go this season definitely goes into our favor.
“The second biggest thing is distraction. We always focus on a word of the week and I always show them that word during our Sunday meetings. We define it, we apply it to football and we apply it to life. This week was distraction. Being a young person nowadays is difficult because there’s so much that they have to deal with than generations before. So we need to be fully locked in and fully focused when it comes to lifting weights, watching film and practice and all of that has to translate to the game.”
The Trojans are also not trying to let the record of last-place Paulding County (0-8, 0-6) distract them from the task at hand.
While the Patriots have had a rough go of things throughout the 2018 campaign, Calhoun is convinced that with a few bounces going the other way, the outlook of PC’s season would look entirely different.
“In my opinion, they’re probably the best team that hasn’t won a game in the state by far. Coach (Van) Spence does a fantastic job over there and I don’t think their record is indicative of how they’ve played,” Calhoun said. “You look at a couple of their games and there’s a handful of plays that separated them from winning three, four, maybe five games.”
A win would clinch Carrollton a spot in the Class AAAAA playoffs with particulars over seeding still left to be determined in the final week of the regular season.
The only thing that matters for the Trojans this evening is executing at a high level and finally playing a complete game.
“They’re anxious and excited for another opportunity to go out there, compete and try to get back on the winning track,” Calhoun said. “We’re not worried about their record. We’re not worried about our record. We’re just worried about playing good football for four quarters. We haven’t done that yet this season, so hopefully we can do that versus Paulding County.”
Tonight's contest will broadcast live on KISS 102.7 FM.