Over the past two years, East and North Paulding have faced off and East Paulding has walked away with sizable wins, 47-10 in 2010 and 63-0 in 2011. Both were devastating losses for the Wolfpack, but this year it’s the season opener and both coaches seem to think there will be a different vibe for this game.
“I think the first game of the season tends to be a closer game. We don’t know what to expect. They don’t know what to expect either. No one has lost a game yet. Everyone is excited to win the first game,” said East Paulding head coach Chuck Goddard.
Despite the results of recent meetings, North Paulding head coach Scott Jones said he is reminding the players to work hard and be confident as they go into this game.
“You never know what is really going through the minds of our players but we are reminding them each day that we must work hard and continue to build confidence. Playing East will be a challenge and I believe our kids have worked hard to prepare for it,” Jones said.
While Jones feels his team has “improved since spring practice,” he said he knows the Raiders will be tough on both sides of the ball.
“East has an arsenal of talented players. We will have our work cut out trying to slow down their offense. Our offense will also face a defense that has a tradition of being ruthless. Our intention is to try to keep the chains moving,” Jones said.
Goddard agreed he has talent as well, but his players still have some things to learn.
“I think we’ve done a good job improving every day in practice. We have enough talent for a good team, but we have got to get our guys to learn our scheme of play,” Goddard said, noting he is the new coach and has implemented some new strategy.
With new head coaches on both sidelines there might be some unexpected plays, but the teams are doing their best to prepare.
“We only have a little background on what they’ve done in the past so there are definitely some unknowns. We have some things we have prepared, but we don’t know exactly what they’ll do,” Goddard said.
This will be the first game on the road to the playoffs and the coaches and players are ready to get the season started.
“I know the coaches at East. They will have their players ready; we will too,” Jones said.