The Granbury Pirates will host O.D. Wyatt in homecoming next Friday, and Tolar will host Millsap in its homecoming.
If ever a pair of games deserved such a label, these are the ones.
Both teams are playing at home for the first time in a month. In the season’s second week Granbury defeated Fort Worth North Side 42-0 on Sept. 6, while Tolar lost 31-20 to Comanche.
Those games were followed with the Pirates taking a road trip to Mansfield and Tolar going to De Leon, both teams having an off week, and last night’s District 7-4A opener against South Hills in Fort Worth for Granbury along with Tolar beginning 6-2A Division II play at Dallas Life.
“The kids are definitely excited to be back home. It has been a long time,” said Granbury head coach Scotty Pugh. “But the good thing is they stayed focused and continued to play well, and that’s what you have to do to be successful, no matter where the game is being played.”
The Pirates’ game will be the first homecoming on the new synthetic turf on Johnny Perkins Field at Pirate Stadium.
“The guys are anxious to get back and play another game on it,” said Pugh. “They practice on it, but there’s a difference playing a game on it, and they’re ready to do that again.”
Homecoming week for Granbury actually began today with members of the Pirate football team lending a hand in the Rancho Brazos community that was devastated by the May tornado, Pugh said.
The team will be helping lay pallets of grass, the coach said, adding that several players and their families were affected by the storm.
“Some of those guys have graduated, but it was a great lesson for all of us,” said Pugh. “It’s a time for our kids to go help.
“The community rallies around sports teams, so the team also needs to be there for the community. We’re doing this for Granbury. We can rally around this and build on it for the future.”
While homecoming is indeed a time to celebrate, coaches everywhere fear the potential distractions that accompany the annual event.
“Two things can happen,” said Pugh. “It can be a distraction and take your focus away from preparing for the game, or you soak it all up and enjoy it while still realizing the game is still just as important as the other activities.”
And there are a lot of other activities, from the crowning of the queen to a parade, and more.
“We’ve got a ton of people coming back to town, there will be all sorts of things happening around school and town the week before the game,” said Pugh.
“It’s very easy to get caught up in all of this – and the players should. It’s their homecoming, something you want to celebrate.
“It’s just a lot nicer when it includes a win in the football game, so you always have to be sure and be prepared for that.”
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