SPRINGHILL – It’s playoff time in Springhill, and the North Webster Knights (8-2, 5-0) are on a mission to obliterate anyone in their path to the school’s first state championship.
“You work all year long from January until now to get back in this spot,” North Webster head coach John Ware said. “We don’t take anything for granted. To have the opportunity to win it, like the other 31 teams do; it’s pretty fun.”
The Knights have grown their program into a household name in Class 3A, something that can be a curse or a blessing depending on your outlook.
“It’s good and bad,” Ware said. “You want everybody to know and respect you and all that, but there’s a lot of pressure being in this spot. When everybody expects a lot it adds to the pressure, maybe not for players, but definitely for coaches.”
The Knights will be at home for their first round game, taking on the No. 27 seed, Port Allen Pelicans.
“We thought we probably drew the toughest draw in the state,” Ware said. “This team is very good. Their record is 4-6, but they play in the toughest district in the state. You look at the schedule and see Parkview Baptist. University High, West Feliciana and Livonia. We’ve tried to relay that to the players all week long and after we showed them some film they realized this is a team that can play with anybody in the state.”
The Knights defense will be busy trying to stop a talented offense with a capable quarterback and a plethora of tall wideouts.
The Knights defense has been up to most challenges this season, but look for Ware to ride Devin White and his supporting cast to the finish line Friday night. White has seen a reduced number of carries this season; meaning he’ll be ready to carry the load for his final shot at a state title.
“When you get to this time of the year, you ride your horses,” Ware said. “We do, at times, try to limit his carries and spread the ball around. It’s a long season and if we’re going to make it all the way we have to be fresh going into the playoffs, and we are.”
The Knights and Pelicans will square off Friday in Springhill from Baucum-Farrar Stadium at 7 p.m.