SNEADS, Fla. (WMBB)– The Sneads football team will check off another box the program hasn’t been able to check until this season, play in the Class 1A State Semifinals.
“Since my freshman year it’s been a dream, we ain’t ever made it this far and it feels unreal,” Sneads senior Calvin Stringer said.
“It’s now kinda like turning a dream into a reality, I knew we could do it, it’s just now it’s time to go do it,” Sneads senior Zach Thomas said.
Sneads picked up its first region title with a dominant 60-21 win over Taylor County last week, continuing to draw attention to the football program in a town known for volleyball state titles.
“I wanna say four or five years ago the third round had never happened for a boys sport here, and then baseball did it, and then we finished third in the state in weightlifting, and now the boys is taking off in football,” Pirates head coach Bill Thomas said.
Thomas said he is proud of all the team has already accomplished, however, there was little time to celebrate the win over Taylor County with the state semifinals against Baker just one week away.
“When you’re getting ready for a team that’s undefeated on the year in the final four, you don’t overlook them, you understand what you’re getting into, we got right back to work,” Thomas said.
The Pirates and Gators have already faced off once this season; Baker won 26-25. Coach Thomas said it was a tale of two halves with penalties ultimately costing the Pirates the win.
“Felt like we dominated and we got some breaks the first half, and then the second half they got the breaks and they dominated… they took the lead about midway through the fourth quarter, we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” Thomas said.
After that loss in late October, the Pirates began to emphasize what penalties can do to a team, making improvements ever since. They hope tomorrow night’s game will not only get them to the state title game but make them a better team taking the field in Tallahassee.
“We’re going into this game with a chip on our shoulder, and we understand what our goal is we come into the season in May with this one goal, and we’ve made it this far and we have no plan on stopping now,” Sneads senior Bowden Howell said.
Kickoff in Baker is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night. News 13 will have live pre and post-game coverage in Friday night’s newscasts.