This time could be different.
At least that’s the way they feel at Blooming Grove, where the Lions enter the Region II 2A DII first round of the playoffs Friday night at Desoto’s Eagle Stadium against Jacksboro.
If that matchup rings a bell, it’s because the two teams met in the same bi-district round of the playoffs last year, and Jacksboro won 28-13.
The Lions would love to get some revenge and make a statement in the playoffs at the same time.
They will be underdogs.
But even though Jacksboro is 8-2 and the Tigers have won eight in a row, there’s a different feeling at Blooming Grove, which entered last year’s playoffs after a long drought of being in he playoffs. .
“Our kids now have the experience of being in a playoff game,’’ Blooming Grove Coach Gary Grubbs said. “The unknown factor isn’t there any more, and we know who we’re playing because we played them last year.’’
It’s more than the familiarity that makes the Lions, who are 6-4, feel they can win. They came back in the second half last year and outscored Jacksboro, 13-7 in last year’s loss.
“When it was all said and done last year we felt like we could have won the game,’’ Grubbs said. “I think the kids who played in that game last year will come out and be a lot more aggressive and play with a lot more confidence.
“I think it will make a tremendous difference. Last year we went into halftime and we were down 21-0, and the kids looked at each other and said, ‘Hey, we can play with these guys.’ I think it will make a difference this year.
Grubbs also likes his offense.
“I think we’re a little more balanced,’’ he said. “We spread the ball around quite a bit. We attack you at different angles.’’
The Lions do have a 1,000-yard rusher, but three players — Travis Whiteside, Tyler Morris and quarterback Tyler Ellis — have combined to run for 2,355 yards. Whiteside leads the pack with 1,015 yards Ellis throws enough to keep teams honest, and the Lions have a big and talented offensive line.
But more than anything, Grubbs knows that playoff experience is priceless.
This time could be different.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week