Homecoming is a football coach’s worst nightmare.
Glenbrook Apaches head coach Caleb Carmikle is only on year two this gig, but knows all too well the baggage the week-long celebration brings with it.
“This is the worst week of the year,” Carmikle said. “All the distractions are there: Building the floats for the parade, the pep rallies, bonfires, junior/senior wars and all that stuff happens this week, and unfortunately, this is a football game we can’t afford to be distracted for because it’s very important in dictating the future of this season.”
Carmikle has other reason’s to be worried as well. The Apaches are a banged-up football team right now. The Apaches haven’t made any excuses for themselves after the early loss of two starting offensive lineman and a starting linebacker. There’s also been issues with strained biceps, concussions and a broken finger.
On the field, the offense has continued to struggle, failing to break the 20-point mark since a 26-20 overtime loss to Greenville Christian in week 3.
Even with the chips stacked against his team, Carmikle says the Apaches will be ready to roll Friday against the Mustangs.
“We’ve leaned on our captains,” he said. “Nick Moses, Tyler Perryman and Mason Hood have done a great job of making sure that when we come down the hill to the fieldhouse, we leave all that extra stuff up there. We’ve had an exceptional week of practice; you can really feel a new breathe of life in this football team. We’re already expecting more fans with homecoming, but we’d love to see everyone in Minden come out and support these guys.”
River Oaks is fielding a young team this season under veteran head coach Robert Hannah. The Mustangs have trotted out bigger and faster horses in years past, but this team is dangerous all the same.
“You know you’re going to get a disciplined, well-coached football team,” Carmikle said. “On offense, the key will be stopping the run. No. 15, Cody Tindall is a weapon for them. He’s very, very fast. Defensively, they have a talented middle linebacker who’s just a sophomore. He’s very smart and makes good reads. They have good players, no doubt.”
Glenbrook could do themselves some good by getting some early defensive stops and allowing a struggling offense plenty of chances to find their groove.
“We saw against in their film against Riverfield that when they get momentum early they start to believe,” Carmikle said. “I’d love to come out and get a couple 3-and-outs early on.”
The Apaches and Mustangs will kick off from Apache Stadium at 7 p.m.