The Valdosta Daily Times
History shows that the Cook Hornets football team doesn’t have a problem being a fourth-seed in the playoffs.
Since 2007, the Hornets have won four first round playoff games where they’ve knocked off a No. 1 seed. Tonight, the Hornets will try to do it again when they visit the Lamar County Trojans (9-0-1) in Barnesville. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from Trojan Field.
“Maybe it is the pressure, I have no idea,” said Cook head coach Ken Cofer, when asked about the success as a No. 4 seed. “I don’t know what it is...We are ready for big games because we play in big games... We are going to be the No. 4 seed again, and there is nothing we can do about it. You are going to have to beat all these good teams anyway.”
The Hornets will face a tough Trojans team tonight that has yet to lose a game since head coach Franklin Stephens took over the program in the offseason. Stephens won two state championship as the head coach of Class 4A Tucker, including last year when he guided the Tigers to a 15-0 record.
“He seems like a good guy,” Cofer said. “I talked with him a few times via text this week. We compliment his team and he compliments ours. It is just a well-coached team in Lamar County.”
The Trojans enter tonight’s game riding a nine-game winning streak, including a 54-0 win over Crawford County last week. Cook, on the otherhand, enters following a 27-22 loss to Early County last week. In the loss, the Hornets had multiple chances to put the Bobcats away, but five second half turnovers cost Cofer’s team.
“We got some calls against us that I didn’t agree with but five turnovers in the second half, you can’t argue with that,” Cofer said. “We turned the ball over and that is very uncharacteristic of us to do that and we did it...We let them hang around. We had chances to put the game away a lot sooner. But turnovers just kept us (from doing it).”
The winner of tonight’s game will face the winner of the Laney (No. 2 seed from Region 3-AA) versus Benedictine (No. 3 seed from Region 2-AA) matchup. That winner will face either Lovett (Region 6 champion), Coosa, Manchester or Greene County in the state quarterfinals.
“Playoffs is anyone’s game, everybody is 0-0,” Cofer said.
“It doesn’t matter how you finish the season, to me. Now, we would definitely have loved to finish with a win, but our kids are upbeat. They were pretty devastated last week; they didn’t want to lose the last regular season game. To me, it means the kids’ hearts are in it. We have been upbeat, the past few days have been great practices and we are ready to go play.”
Directions to Trojan Field: Take I-75 North for 97.3 miles to Exit 136 towards Perry/Fort Valley...turn left onto GA-7 N/US-341/Sam Nunn Blvd..go 10.7 miles and turn right onto GA-7 N/Oakland Heights Pkwy. Continue to follow GA-7 for 41.6 miles. Turn left onto Burnette Road/Rose Ave. Continue to follow Burnette Road for 0.4 miles. Turn right onto Trojan Way.