Entering this week at 2-1 in 2AAAAAA play, the first portion of that grueling schedule has treated the Hornets well enough for a third-place standing, but head coach Alan Gordon said his team’s postseason fate would come down to a strong finish over the season’s final two weeks.
“We are well aware that this area is like the SEC West in college football,” said the first-year Roswell head coach, referring to the strength and depth of the Hornets’ local competition. “We have five or six really great teams in this area, maybe five of the top 10 teams in the state, and only four get to make the state playoffs.
After a season-opening loss to Lambert, Roswell rebounded with three straight wins before losing a hard-fought match to defending state champion Milton in mid-March in their 2AAAAAA opener. The Hornets bounced back with an 8-7 area win against Woodstock and a 14-1 thumping against Wheeler before spring break to slide into a tie for third place with Etowah.
“I like the way we are trending right now, getting better every week, but to get to where we want to be we know we have to work hard and finish a full 48-minute game every time out,” Gordon said.
‘Trending upward’, Gordon said his team has made steady improvements throughout the season thanks to a strong senior class and a savvy defense that has a knack for keeping the home net clean.
“Our defensive group has been a big strength for us with guys like Nic Haydel and George Pratt in the back and our middie captains Ryan Monty and McHale Schneider playing well,” said Gordon, while pointing out a quartet of seniors that he called his team’s leaders. “Our offense has started to gel, too, and the biggest thing to do now is work on finishing strong.”
Roswell’s finishing stretch includes their final five area matches in a 10-day span, the first of which came last night against Etowah — results were not available at press time. The Hornets will then play Cherokee (Thursday), Walton (Saturday), No. 1 ranked Lassiter (April 23) and North Cobb (April 25) to round out their 2AAAAAA schedule.
“We definitely want to make the playoffs and we’re going to work hard and take it one game at a time until we get there,” said Gordon.