Friday, October 29, 2010
Making Strides on the Road to a State Championship
Experts will be the first to tell you that you can have the best coaches, the best players, and the best program in the state, but it doesn’t mean you will win a championship. If you ask those experts to tell you then what a championship program looks like, they will tell you to look for the kind of things that are happening right here at Bob Jones. Obviously the goal of each player and coach is to win a state championship, but on the way to that goal there are some clear mile markers you need to pass to see if your program is on track. First you need start winning a lot more Region games than you lose. Well it seems pretty clear that has been happening at Bob Jones.
The Patriots have won 17 of their last 17 region contests. We have not lost a region contest since 10 October 2008. Just in case you are checking, this progress against our history, it took seven years in Region 8 (2000- 2007) for Bob Jones to accumulate its first 15 wins not to mention the 35 losses we earned on the way to 15 wins. Adding in the 5- 3 Region record for 2008, Bob Jones has won 20 of the last 23 region games. While on the way to accumulating a good Region record you must always face the incumbent dominant team. Decatur has been that dominate team for Region 8, accruing an impressive 42-6 record in Region 8 play against the current teams occupying Region 8. Bob Jones now owns 2 of those six losses and is joined by Sparkman as the only other team to own two wins in 6A Region 8 games against Decatur since the formation of the Region in 2000. Remarkably Bob Jones earned those two regular season wins in just the past two years, remember prior to last year Bob Jones had never beat Decatur in a Region 8 game. When you include last year’s playoff win against Decatur last year, Bob Jones has now beaten the Regions the dominate team three times in a row. I hope you are starting to see a new dominant team emerge. This week Bob Jones became the only Region 8 team to ever win back to back region titles. Given that fact, you might already know that no other Region 8 team has ever finished two consecutive seasons with a perfect region records. This year Bob Jones joined the only two teams to win a second title since Region 8 was formed in 2000. This year Bob Jones tied Sparkman with two Region 8 titles 2004 and 2006 and is just behind Decatur who has won three 6A Region 8 titles 2000, 2002, and 2005. Once you begin to be a force in your Region you must begin to be recognized as top program in the state. Bob Jones has now been ranked as a top 10 team 16 of the past 21 weeks. Bob Jones has now been ranked in the top 10 for twelve consecutive weeks. Our current Number 3 ranking is the highest ranking in Bob Jones history and pushes our streak to 13 continuous weeks setting a new record for Region 8, a record previously held by Decatur. This is pretty amazing given that prior to the 2009 season Bob Jones had never been ranked as a team since joining the Region in 2000. Currently Bob Jones has been ranked more in the past two years than any other Region 8 team has been ranked in the past 10 years, again except for Decatur. It is very likely that Bob Jones will continue to be ranked through this season and into next season. Region success brings playoff opportunities and Bob Jones has now been in the playoffs now for six consecutive years beginning in 2005. Only Decatur has as more consecutive playoff appearances (2000-2005) in Region 8. As you become the top region team you draw a top seed in the playoff brackets which increases your success. Last year, Bob Jones joined Huntsville and Decatur as the only teams to be quarter finalists. Huntsville has been the only region 8 team to make it to the semi-finals which they did in 2008. Sounds like things are on-track. Congratulations players and coaches on these amazing accomplishments!