Injuries hampering Red Bay
RED BAY – When the season started Red Bay coach Dale Jeffreys figured Class 2A, Region 8 would have several teams competing for playoff spots.
He was right. Heading into the final week of region play, six of the eight teams still have a chance at securing a postseason berth.
"For several years, it was us, Lexington and Tanner," Jeffreys said. "This year region is a lot more level."
The Tigers renew an old rivalry tonight when they host Lexington for homecoming.
Jeffreys said the Lexington game has always been a tough contest to win.
This year, the game could be even more challenging as the Tigers are fighting through injuries to key players as the season is coming to a close.
Cody Armstrong, the most consistent player in a shaky offense, is out for the rest of the season and linebacker Caleb Collins will not suit up tonight.
"We have not played well in the last two weeks," Jeffreys said. "After losing those guys it has been about finding replacements."
The game will be important for both teams' playoff positioning.
Red Bay will clinch at least the No.-3 spot with a win and the Tigers will earn the No.-2 seed and a first-round home game if they win and Cherokee beats Clements.
If Lexington wins, the Golden Bears will clinch the second seed. If the Golden Bears win while Hatton and Cherokee both win, it would set up a 4-way tie for the two remaining playoff berths. That scenario could leave the Tigers out of the playoffs for the first time since 1998.
Jeffreys said the home game would be nice, but he is more focused on making the playoff field.
"I'm sure (a home game) is important on some level, but we are just hoping to win," Jeffreys said.