If it is possible to win a bye week, the Valley View Eagles and head coach Curtis King felt as if they did.
They avoided injury and got in some detailed work in what King called the best practice of the year on Monday.
They were able to do so riding a confidence-boosting 12-7 win over Muenster on Sept. 27.
Still, King and the Eagles were still geared up to play last Friday despite the bye week.
“The downside is we’re playing really good, so you always want to play when you’re playing good,” King said. “We did a lot of conditioning. Guys who had some nagging injuries got to sit a little bit and get healthy. We worked on some problems that we thought we had on some plays and we’re happy with it.”
Valley View will host Collinsville at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, to open district play.
When preparing for the Pirates, King and the players not only watched film, but some of them saw the Pirates lose to Lindsay in person last week.
Collinsville fell 60-0, but King said he didn’t want his team to buy into one bad game.
“They can be physical and they run to the ball really well,” King said. “Their defensive kind of swarms to the ball. Their quarterback and receivers, they run good routes and then get the ball to them. It’s a dangerous game for us because we had 22 kids at the [Lindsay-Collinsville] game. If you just saw a score, you thought was a blowout. But really, Collinsville moved the ball up and down the field the whole time.”
The defending district champion Pirates had a wealth of high snaps that led to fumbles, poor field position and easy scores for Lindsay.
King said he is preparing his players for a dog fight.
“They’re gonna be well-coached,” King said. “[Garrett Patterson] is gonna have them ready to play. I told the boys it’s gonna be a dog fight. They’re district champs and they want to protect that. We want to be district champs. It’s gonna be a hard fought game.”
The whole season has been building up to this point for the Eagles.
King had this first district game targeted as the point in the season the team needed to be ready for since the first two-a-day practice in August.
Now that the time has come and the games officially have significant influence on the playoff paradigm, King said his team is rounding into shape at the right time.
The defense has given up seven total points in its last two games and the Eagles’ running game is finding its stride in a variety of ways.
“We found our identity on defense,” King said. “So we’re playing really good defense and on offense, we’re going to be a power running team. They’re happy with the Muenster win, but they know that all that’s gone. No one cares about that anymore.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip