A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Winder-Barrow Football Preview

On September 1, Northview Football (0-1, 0-0 Region 6AAAAAA) will travel to Winder-Barrow High School to face the Bulldogs (2-0, 0-0 Region 8AAAAAA). Last season the Bulldogs got the better of the Titans, but a lot has changed since that matchup and the Titans are a completely different team with a new coaching staff this year. Northview showed a lot of promise against Lanier two weeks ago. They showed how poised they were and how they could play as a team. But there is always room for improvement. Titan Head Coach James Thomson, when asked about what the team needs to work on to be able to win games, had just one message.

“We played well against Lanier, we just have to finish it. That’s the lesson we learned from that game. We just have to finish,” Thomson said.

The Titans did indeed have a hard time finishing that game, falling 33-24 after losing a 17-7 halftime lead, but they have learned from it and now they are ready to face Winder-Barrow. This is a non-conference game so a win or loss will not have a direct effect record-wise on the team’s road to the playoffs. However, every game is vital in terms of the team’s growth and confidence. Winder-Barrow is currently 2-0 and the Titans are 0-1, trying to get to .500 and earn that crucial first win. Northview had a bye week last week so they’ve had time to recover, relax and to take care of their bodies.

“When fatigue sets in, we have to beat that. We have to overcome that. We have to just fight when we are tired and finish,” Thomson said.

The team made the most of last week, preparing their minds and bodies for Friday’s game. The Titans have been analyzing film and writing up game plans all week in hopes of having all the right answers for the Bulldogs come kickoff. Junior guard and defensive tackle Davon Benjamin has enjoyed an increased workload this year so far and he’s feeling focused and energized as the Titans prepare for Winder-Barrow.

“In order to win we just need to do what we do best, and that’s play as a unit. If we can each do our job, we can come out with a win,” Benjamin said.

Senior Farid Nana-Yeboah, who also plays a huge role on the team as a wide receiver, running back, and cornerback, had a similar message and mentality towards the matchup.

“Coming into this game, I am very focused. We all are. Looking to redeem ourselves from a tough loss, we are willing to do whatever it takes to get the win,” Nana-Yeboah said.

The Northview Titans have a great mindset moving forward, and they have efficiently used this bye week to hit the reset button and to get focused. The coaches and the players all have to work together as one unit in order to be successful. When asked if there were any key players on Winder-Barrow, Thomson gave a true and honest answer.

“…No,” Thomson said.

The coaches have clearly been working to scout, so now the players just have to learn and execute the game plan that they have created. This game should be one for the books. Expect to see both teams come out on the field and play their hearts out.