By Jack Jeffrey | Pinewood Prep Contributor
Pinewood Prep hosts Augusta Christian on Frida for their final game of the 2019 season. It hasn’t been an easy road for the Panthers. They hold a record of 0-9. Augusta Christian stands at 3-6, but have been very competitive in just about every game they’ve played this season.
Pinewood is coming off of a 34-6 road loss to Laurence Manning Academy last week. The Augusta Christian Lions were also defeated last week, 35-22 by First Baptist.
“Their record is not an indication of how strong of a team they are,” Panthers head coach Michael Wright stated. “They’re a really good team. First Baptist beat them but we looked at the film and First Baptist got a lot of breaks. Augusta Christian certainly could have won that game.”
The Lions and Panthers have played a lot of the same teams this season. Augusta Christian has had more success, notching notable wins against SCISA 3A teams like Wilson Hall and Cardinal Newman.
“We’ve played them over the years,” said Wright. “When I first arrived here we played them for two or three years and then their program for whatever reason went down and they stopped playing division 3 teams and now that their program is up again they’re playing division 3 teams again.”
It’s been a struggle for the Panthers this year to say the least. They have though, throughout the year found success through the passing game. Senior quarterback Myron Wigfall and senior receiver Josh Higuchi have been in a rhythm as of late, connecting for three touchdowns in the last four games. With it being senior night for the Panther’s they will certainly be hungry to end their high school careers with big performances.
“I think people are going to come and support and so it would be nice to end on a high note,” said Wright. “We are playing a very difficult team and so our guys have to understand that. We want the atmosphere to be a great one for the seniors because we know it’s their last time and so we want to show our appreciation.”
It’s been a hectic week of practice for Pinewood with homecoming and spirit week. While Coach Wright has made a lot of adjustments throughout the year offensively and defensively, with different schemes and personnel groups, this week he’s made it clear the focus has been on positivity and high spirits.
“You can’t change the season and so we’ve lost in that sort of category,” noted Wright. “But I think we’ve had good chemistry. We’ve continued to try to play hard each and every week even though that’s turned into losses. If we go from the perspective of everyone trying to do the best that they can and have fun playing football, then that should translate into a good feeling across the team.”
The Panther’s season has been a disappointment no doubt. Despite that, Coach Wright has expressed how much this specific Pinewood football team has meant to him. “I feel like this team has been a team, where I’ve been just as close to it as any other I’ve ever coached,” said Wright. “I think that’s been a product of the downs that we’ve been through. That brings you together as a team. You have those challenges and difficulties that occur and you’re all you have so you have to go through those tough times together. I think that’s why I’ve grown so close to this team.”
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