The Progress sat down with Jacksonville head football coach Wayne Coleman to get his thoughts on this week's game against Pine Tree (3-2, 1-1).
JP: Is it more difficult to get the players reeled back in after suffering a big loss?
WC: “No, it is actually more difficult to get them focused after a win, because all they want to talk about is what happened last week. We had a good day of practice on Monday and everyone is thinking about Pine Tree.”
JP: Do you worry about the kids being distracted with this week being homecoming?
WC: “I used to, but I don't anymore. Homecoming is unavoidable and everyone has one, so we feel that when are guys are at practice or watching film, they should be giving 100 percent. We also want them, as high school students, to be able to enjoy homecoming when they are off of the field.”
JP: The Indians are 1-1 in district, along with Pine Tree, Nacogdoches and Mount Pleasant, with the next two games at the Tomato Bowl. Not a bad spot to be in.
WC: “All of our goals are still on the table. These next two games with Pine Tree and Nacogdoches coming in here are huge games for us.”
JP: What does the Indians' running back situation look like going into this week's game?
WC: “Isaiah Mallard and JT Johnson are both banged up. We will be going with running back by committee, with guys like Derreion Hinton, (Rey'Shaun) Allen and some of the others.”
JP: The Pine Tree defense seems to really be playing well. What is the key to their success?
WC: “Pine Tree returned 10 guys from last year on defense and they are very experienced and they don't make mistakes. They are not as big physically as some of the teams in out district, but they play together well and they play smart. Last week against Nac they came up with a late goal line stand to win the game down there, and they held Marshall to 17 points the week before.”
JP: The Pirates have one loss in district and they play Texas High next week. You have to think that they will be fired up when they come to town on Friday night?
WC: “This is a big early-district game for both teams, because the winner will be 2-1.”
JP: What are the key to the game for Jacksonville this week?
WC: “We have to eliminate all the self inflicted wombs that we gave ourselves against Marshall. Turnovers, bad snaps, poor punt coverage; those things killed us last week.”