Second season kicking off
Luck of No. 2 district seed on the Wildcats side
Do not ask Lance Parnell, Cassville football coach, if he believes that luck is derived from rabbits’ feet, lucky charms or magic horse shoes — because he does not.
The cagy Arkansas native believes teams create their own luck and fortune with hard work and effort on the field.
Take, for instance, the final four plays of the win over Mt. Vernon on Friday.
The Wildcat secondary swatted away four chances by the Mountaineers to get into the end zone. In Parnell’s mind, it was not luck, but the hard work and growth of his secondary that led to the game winning stand.
“Our secondary played extremely well against Mt. Vernon,” Parnell said. “If our stats are accurate, we held them to 9-of-27 passing. That’s good against that passing attack.”
Parnell said his defensive unit has gotten better each and every week.
“We lost some good talent to graduation last year,” Parnell said. “We knew that we had holes to fill, and I think you are seeing us play at a high level.”
So while Parnell, will not embrace luck, he does have some history on his side as the No. 2 district seed.
This is the sixth year of the new eight-team pod district.
In the previous five seasons, the No. 2 seed has claimed the title of district championship three times (2013, 2014 and 2016). The No. 3 seed has claimed the championship the other two occasions.
The No. 1 district seed is 0-3 in district championship games, and Parnell remembers well the 10-6 loss to Monett in 2012 at Wildcat Stadium.
The Wildcats’ journey to district glory begins on Friday as they welcome Hollister to town.
“I think our kids are happy to play in front of the home crowd and face a new opponent,” Parnell said. “Hollister is similar to Mt. Vernon. They are going to spread the field and throw the ball around. They have some athletes that can catch the ball and make plays.”
Parnell said the Tigers are primarily a four-man front, and they have some players that can get to the ball.
“I think our offensive line has come along and been a strength these last few weeks,” Parnell said. “We’ve found a mix that works for us and that is going to be key on Friday.”
Keys for Cassville
• Apply Pressure
Look for Cassville to attack the Tigers’ passing game and try to force hurried throws.
• Ground and pound
Look for the Wildcats to make a statement on the ground and take over the game.
• Home field advantage
The players fought for it, they earned it and now Wildcat Nation has a chance to establish it.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.