Next game the ‘biggest’Published 9:03am Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Bob Godsey didn’t waste much time deciding where the Tigers’ 24-14 victory over Russellville Friday in the Class 5A football quarterfinals ranked among his wins at the school.
This one – the Tigers’ first win in the quarterfinals during Godsey’s tenure at the school – was pretty special for all the players and coaches.
In four previous trips to the quarterfinals with Godsey at the Tigers’ helm, Hartselle had come up short each time.
Add the fact that Hartselle’s win came over Russellville and it was easy to rank it among the program’s top victories.
“I guess this would be the top one,” Godsey said. “This one means we’ve finally gotten over the hurdle.To finally get to the semifinals, this really squashes those demons.”
Hartselle’s win puts the Tigers in a rare class in the school’s football tradition. Only three other teams in school history have won 12 games.
But none of that really matters to Godsey. His main goal was to see the Tigers put themselves in a position to win a state championship.
Hartselle will host Briarwood Christian at 7 p.m. Friday at J.P. Cain Stadium. The winner will advance to the Class 5A state championship game Dec. 3.
“You know you’ve accomplished something when you’re playing on Thanksgiving weekend,” Godsey said.
Two years ago, Hartselle had one of its most talented – and experienced – teams in school history. That team won its first 12 games and climbed to a No. 1 ranking before being unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs in the quarterfinals by Russellville.
As Godsey walked off the field following Friday night’s win, he was met by several former players. Godsey says that’s just part of the Hartselle football tradition.
“We’ve had a lot of guys back tonight that have been in the same position,” Godsey said. “Those guys that reached the quarterfinals and, for whatever reason, came up a little short of getting to the semifinals, they’ve got a hand in this year, too.”
Godsey knows that the Russellville win Friday was big. He also knows that there are bigger games ahead
“We can’t allow it to stop here,” Godsey said.
Sports editor Todd Thompson can be reached at 773-6566 or at firstname.lastname@example.org