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Tiger gear up for final test before playoffs

Kaitlyn Mullins

This Friday Randleman High School takes on Orange, an out of county team from Hillsborough, NC. The Tigers have had plentiful success on their way to a 10-0 record, while for some this game may seem like just another check mark to an undefeated record and a number one seed in the state playoffs. I had the opportunity to interview Coach Handy on Wednesday and he is invoking to his team that this is just another week.

Fortunately, Coach Handy and his team all have the same goal in mind and have had it since the beginning of the season. It starts every year with winning the County and Conference championship and then attaining a berth into the state playoffs. This week their prep is not changing, however, there is an extra kick to perform just as well as they have all year. With a win this Friday, it would greatly improve their chance to have a firm grasp on a number one seed and home-field advantage throughout the duration of the playoffs.

With their success this year being undoubtable, I asked Coach Handy what the energy was like within the locker room and on the practice field. “They have a strong mentality. And they have great energy every day and do it willingly.” He compliments a lot of their core to the senior leadership, and the balance of fifteen seniors to twenty juniors that have formed a sense of synergy in-game and on the practice field.

On both sides of the field, the Tigers have been dominant. Averaging over 38 points per game while holding the opposition to a little over 12 points per game. The uniqueness to this offense is a two-headed monster of rushing and passing. “The balance is better in my opinion, because when the rushing is succeeding it sets up the offense and when we’re passing well it sets up the rush,” says Coach Handy. The duality between the two attacks are easily seen and Handy attributes a lot of the success to starting quarterback Timmy York for his ability to take care of the football. He also compliments Clayton Gentry, Jake Johnson, and Nick Neal for their play on both sides of the ball over the course of the season. Their +12 turnover ratio speaks for the compatibility the offense and the defense have formed and hope to improve on heading into the playoffs.

With all the success the Tigers have had this year, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day practices, scouting reports, and other routine activities. I asked Coach Handy, what has been the most enjoyable part of the journey so far? Handy said “Coaching a great group of young men that enjoy the journey and continue to push every day. We have a sense of community within the team that pushes us to succeed because they know these days will not always be here.” He loves that while everyone likes to play in the game this team loves to practice and for a coach you could not ask for more.

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