Last season’s battle for the final two playoff spots in 6A Region 1 came down to week 9. A four-way tie between Bryant, Baker, Murphy and Davidson would leave two teams out of the post-season.
Baker would fall to the Region 1 champions, Blount, and see their playoff hopes disappear.
“Well, you know that’s a goal of anyone because everyone in the back of your mind always thinks about being number 1. Well to be number 1, you’ve got to make the playoffs to show everybody you are, so that’s a goal that’s kind of automatic for every school in the state. So you know it’s very important because it doesn’t come very often at Baker, but we’ve had a taste of it and we’d like to go back,” said head coach Jack French.
However, not all was lost from a 6 and 4 finish. The Hornets defeated Murphy for the first time in school history.
“That was an exciting moment (beating Murphy), when the clock hit ran out, it was just thrilling, it just made my day – one of the best days of my life for sure,” said DB Trent Archie.
That win has been a motivating factor for Baker this spring practice season.
“It’s very exciting. I just can’t wait for the season to start and get rolling,” said Archie. “It means a lot. It’s my last year with a couple other of my buddies”
“I’m very excited, don’t want to graduate though,” said senior OL Landon Davidson.
With the new Class 7A, advancing to the playoffs has become harder than ever before, this fall.
“Well, it was extremely hard obviously in 6A to win four games. Now you mention 7A, and I’ve told people all along seven is not the important number; it’s nine. So that means now you’ve got to win five region games to have a real good chance of going. And so, that’s the part that’s going to be different, you have to line up one more time than you ever have before to get there,” said French.
“Every week it’s exciting, blood pumping and something to look forward to. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. The old saying, ‘You gotta play the best to be the best.’ Some of the best football in the country is played right here in this region. It’s a very good football teams that represent some very good schools. It’s just a lot of fun to be a part of it,” said French.