Blackman, Oakland deal with short week

Blackman, Oakland deal with short week

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Blackman, Oakland deal with short week

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MURFREESBORO

Oakland football coach Thomas McDaniel called it a “necessary evil.” Blackman coach Philip Shadowens conceded he isn’t fond of it either.

But both gave in and play under the lights Thursday night for an opportunity to let their teams play on television.

“It’s great for both schools to play on TV,” McDaniel said. “It’s an experience for the players and it gives the school recognition. But it’s hard to prep when you have a short week. And some times it can hurt your gate.

“But the kids enjoy it. It’s more of a big deal to players.”

Blackman (3-1 overall, 0-1 in 7-AAA) plays at Oakland (2-2, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday in a game broadcast on WUXP as part of their regular-season Thursday Night Lights programming. This week’s game is the lone contest involving Rutherford County teams on TV this year.

It also marks the first Oakland home game of the season. The Patriots have just four home games this year.

“It will be nice to play in front of our fans,” McDaniel said. “We have a lot to get done to have the field and stadium ready, but it will be nice to be in front of our home crowd.”

To prep for the Thursday game, McDaniel had his team practice on Sunday to get a jump start on the week. However, Shadowens chose not to bring in his team. He and his coaching staff met on Sunday just like any other week.

“We’ll pack everything in three days,” Shadowens said. “I’m not going to bring kids in on the weekend. I’ve never believed in doing that. The only day you really lose is your walk through day. If we need to walk through (on Thursday), we can do that. We normally have meetings before the game anyway.

“Things won’t be that much different for the kids. I look at it as this is a kids game, not a coaches game. They enjoy playing on TV.”

Both Oakland and Blackman avenged Week 2 losses with wins this past Friday. Oakland defeated Gallatin 44-14. Blackman defeated Signal Mountain 41-10.

Oakland fell behind 14-0 to the Green Wave before the Patriots got on track.

“Looking back, I’m not sure starting like that wasn’t a positive,” McDaniel said. “We beat ourselves at times against Arlington. We made mistakes against La Vergne. And that was the same thing against Gallatin. But they responded in a different manner.

“We grew up a lot. That was big for morale. They understand that we won’t play perfect, but we can persevere past that.”

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