The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 7, 2013

Harold Raker's column on high school football: So nice, let's do it twice


"If you win, and you win handily, the first concern is that the players won't prepare as well as they should, mentally, because of the fact that you did win handily the first time. You have to worry about them becoming a little complacent and overlooking (the opponent)," he said.

But, he added, the positive is that you don't have to spend much time preparing for that team. He said the Tigers may make a few changes, but not much in their overall schemes.

Selinsgrove coach Dave Hess, who took the Seals to a state Class AAA championship in 2009, said, "It doesn't really matter in terms of Xs and Os, but it does play a little part, whether you won or lost. Years ago when we would come in as the winner, we always felt it was real difficult to get back up for a team again."

This week, he said, "Our kids have gotta be on. I don't think it will have a lot of effect. We know that Milton will be hungry for a win, especially for the playoffs.".

His counterpart this week, Milton's George Goodwin, said, "I don't know that it makes a difference because, in playoff football, anything can happen."

He added, "In our situation, we thought we played decent against (Selinsgrove) the first time, but when you spot them 21 points, looking at us as a team, we have to correct some things to even advance in this tournament."

When Shikellamy coach Todd Tilford was asked about it this week, he said, "We (coaches) were kind of discussing that. It's almost like if you come up short (the first time), you are over-thinking it or trying to make too many changes and it can confuse the kids."

He said the coaches come up with lots of ideas they think might work and then trim them try to find a balance from trying to do too much and overwhelm the players.

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