The Gonzales Apaches (6-2, 2-1) will either be a second seed or a third seed after Thursday’s matchup against the Boerne Greyhounds (6-2, 2-1). This game puts the Apaches coaching staff in a different spot than games earlier this season, since both the second and third seed out of the district compete in the same side of the bracket, and their bi-district opponents won’t be determined until Friday’s games. As much as teams want to win games, the main goal for the Apaches is to end the regular season on a high note, setting themselves up for a long playoff run.
“You want to finish things off on a good note,” Gonzales head coach Mike Waldie said, “you want to beat a good Boerne team, you want to set yourself up for the playoffs, you want to be able to look back in December and say, ‘listen, our regular season was two losses to two 10-0 and top-10 teams.’ That’s the way you want to finish.”
Even then, Waldie may be put in a position where the coaching staff will be conservative with their approach to the game.
“You’re either playing Zapata and then Lampasas, who is number four [according to state rankings] or you’re playing Hidalgo and then Needville, who is number five,” Waldie said. “Coach from Boerne and I were talking on Sunday, [saying] the two or three seed is almost identical.”
“If I feel like somebody is dinged or there was any concern, I will, without a doubt, be a little more conservative, knowing that the two/three seed is not a drastic change to our playoff run,” Waldie added. “That’s just a fact. I’m always cautious about kids anyway, but there could be a scenario where I make a call that I think is in the best interest in the playoff run and the team that maybe wouldn’t apply if it was obviously a ‘get in’ game or a chance at a home playoff game as the one/two seed. If that applied to 4A, this game would be a lot different right now.”
The Greyhounds enter the game with a potent offense led by junior quarterback #8 Jackson Graves. His go-to receivers are #4 Matt Michalec and #3 Colin Fisher.
“[Graves] is a big, strong, physical kid, kind of reminds me of the Beeville quarterback,” Waldie scouted. “Strong arm, believes in his arm. ‘Q’-run game. He makes them go.”
Defensively, the Greyhounds operate under what Waldie called a “true 4-3,” meaning four linemen and three linebackers behind them.
“Very quick, athletic defensive linemen,” Waldie said. “They use their quickness as their strength. They’ve got big physical linebackers. They’re the type of team that aren’t going to trick you on defense, kind of similar to us, you kind of know what you’re going to get, therefore they’re really good at what they do because they do the same thing over and over again.”
Waldie believes the game is going to come down to which team will be more physical.
“That’s been our strength, winning the line of scrimmage,” he said, “and if we do that, we’ll have a lot of success. If we don’t, then they’re good enough to control the game on defense. That’s something that we got to find a way to win early.”
The game is set for Thursday, Nov. 7, with kickoff scheduled at 7 p.m.