Football is too demanding a commitment to receive no payoff for the time invested.
Cross High School experienced that misery in 2018, going 0-for-the-season and missing the playoffs for the first time in nearly 50 years.
The Trojans took care of their business right out of the gate this season, edging Burke High School at home on Friday, 16-14.
“Going into the game I didn’t know how the kids would respond to adversity,” Cross coach Shaun Wright said. “We were down 8-0 but they never flinched. Burke has some really good athletes and they definitely were confident coming into the game. Our kids got themselves into the fourth quarter with a chance to win and it was their attitudes that made the difference. It will be the difference in our approach for the remainder of the season.”
Cross travels to Whale Branch on Friday. Whale Branch edged Battery Creek 9-6 in its opener. The Warriors mashed Cross 47-0 last season.
“Whale Branch is very impressive on film,” Wright said. “They are big, fast and athletic. It’s what you draw up for a winning team. They will be the biggest team we face this year on both sides of the ball. Their middle linebacker is very good and instinctive. They run a four-man front and they are very active on defense. Offensively they want to establish the run and the quarterback is probably their best athlete. They get off the ball and look to establish a new line of scrimmage.”
Against Burke, which had beaten the Trojans 26-0 in 2018, DeAndre Pringle led Cross with 67 rushing yards and scored the tying touchdown on a 1-yard run with about five minutes left. Dorian Pinckney broke the tie with the 2-point conversion run.
It happened the other way around earlier. Pinckney scored on an 8-yard run and Pringle ran in the 2-point conversion.
On defense, Damion Haines and Tylik Green led Cross with 10 total stops apiece.