It's time to take a look at our playoff edition of Friday Night Rivals Sideline Wrapup Impact Game - Oak Ridge at Soddy Daisy. The Trojans want to break a recent playoff losing streak against the Wildcats.
As the Trojans season unfolded, leaders have emerged. Jalan Render, Landon Maynor, Izek Hoppe and Preston Begley have all made game changing plays. One of the key leaders on this team is senior running back and linebacker Hayden Maynor. "Showing up every day, doing what the coaches are telling me to do. Giving it my all really like in the classroom, here," Maynor explained about his role as a leader.
Soddy Daisy (6-4) won the region in back-to-back years. Winning at Rhea County this season was a signature win.
The losses came against Red Bank and three larger 6A schools. Coach Justin Barnes elaborated, "We scheduled those teams for the tough opponents to get us ready for the playoffs. Because once you get in there, everybody's good."
Oak Ridge (5-5) competes in a tough region. The Wildcats had a six point loss to number one Powell and a one point loss last Friday to Fulton. Oak Ridge also had a one score season opening loss to Hardin Valley.
In coach Barnes' seven years at Soddy Daisy, the Trojans have faced Oak Ridge five times in the playoffs. They've lost every time. Barnes said, "Our biggest thing is we can't get caught up in emotion. It is a big game for us. Big opponent. Somebody that we do want to turn the tide against." Maynor echoed that sentiment, "It's very important. It 's definitely a goal to have."
Coach Barnes said his team has to stop the run and can't turn it over. In addition, this team's leadership may provide the winning intangible. That's leadership Maynor can provide. "When somebody's down or whatever, talk to 'em. If somebody does something wrong, tell 'em 'Look dude, this is how it needs to be.'"
Barnes closed by saying his team is "set up to make a good run," and now is the time to execute and go play well.