NEW CASTLE —
Familiar faces. Familiar place. Familiar stakes.
Wilmington High football makes a return to the the District 10, Class AA Championship when it clashes with Hickory at 7:00 p.m. tonight at Slippery Rock University. This will be the second meeting between the two teams this season as the Greyhounds seek their 11th district title since 1994. Wilmington outscored the Hornets 35-28 in September.
“I said last week it is very difficult to play a team a second time, especially if you are on the winning end of it. Hickory has more talent than anyone in our league. They have great skill people,” Wilmington coach Terry Verrelli said. “They’re difficult to stop, it’s that simple.”
The Greyhounds (9-2) will be making their second trip to Mihalik-Thompson Stadium in as many weeks. Wilmington beat Greenville in a 10-9 double overtime thriller on the same field last Saturday. Hickory (10-1) buzzed past Grove City 35-13 and will be looking to win back-to-back Class AA championships.
For the second week in a row, the ’Hounds will take part in a rematch of a regular season contest. After handling the Trojans in the regular season 26-0, Greenville almost pulled the upset last week. The first contest between the Hornets and the Greyhounds was a tight battle to the end, and Verrelli expects the title game to be no different.
“It was tied 21-21, then we went up a couple of touchdowns on them,” he said. “They scored once more when we fumbled and they scooped it up and ran it in. We were able to move the ball. I think that’s the key this week too. It wont be an easy chore, that’s for sure, but we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
Film study is vital to a successful football program. Looking back on a matchup, a team can evaluate and reflect on strengths and weaknesses for an upcoming rematch. Hickory coach Bill Brest saw many mistakes his team could correct.