The Holy Innocents’ Golden Bear football team will be challenged right out of the gates when the Class A playoffs begin Friday. Coach Ryan Livezey’s squad will not only make the four-hour drive to Savannah, but will face the defending state champs when they get there in Savannah Christian.
“They are one of the premiere programs in Georgia,” Livezey said. “This will be a huge task to play against such a successful program. At the same time, it’s a great opportunity for our kids to play a team like this.”
HIES finished the regular season at 6-4, 4-2 in Region 5A, while their opponents finished up at 8-2. Looking at the game, the Golden Bear leader knows what his team will have to do to come out on top.
“They run the ball extremely well – they use the triple option. On defense, they are very athletic and they fly to the ball. Obviously, they are also well coached. The keys, as always in postseason, will be to minimize our mistakes and take the opportunities once you get them. The best team doesn’t always win in the playoffs – it’s usually the team that takes advantage of their chances.”
The Bears have solid weapons in quarterback Luke Wright and their running back tandem of Clay Pfohl and Owen Penn. Defensively, Rod Davis and Jason Grimes have been two of many who have stepped up all year.
As for the injuries, Livezey says he feels as good as he’s felt in a while about his team. “We have some guys banged up, but hopefully we’ll get them back in practice this week. Basically, we’re as healthy as we’ve been in a long time.”
One would think the task of not only facing a tough team but the travel could be major obstacles. Livezey, however, sees the positives in their weekend ahead.
“I think it’s always a good idea to have your team go on a long trip – it gets the kids away and it gets them out of their comfort zones. The trick is to get it into their heads that this isn’t a vacation, this is a business trip. That’s the philosophy behind going up there and coming back on the same day.”
This is the Bears sixth straight trip to postseason.