Comfort, especially on the road, is a big thing.
And the best way to be comfortable for the Catholic High Crusaders is to go with a formula they already know works.
Faced with making a trip to the Jacksonville area on Friday for the second straight year, the Crusaders are going to follow the same travel plans they had last year, hoping it results in a similar result.
Last season, the Crusaders traveled to Jacksonville Trinity Christian in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs and shocked the Conquerors by a 22-21 margin.
“We’re going with basically the same itinerary,” Catholic coach Greg Seibert said. “I have spent the night three times with this football team. In 2002, we spent the night at Madison County and lost (48-6). In 2004, we stayed overnight for the state championship and got beat (43-9 by Pahokee). In 2009, we went to Bolles, stayed overnight and got beat 55-0.
“We drove to Jacksonville last year, played Trinity and beat Trinity and drove back. I think I will roll with it.”
This time, the Crusaders will travel a little south of Jacksonville to Green Cove Springs to take on the Clay Blue Devils in the Region 1-5A championship game. But the trip will feel a lot like last year’s trek to Trinity Christian, as Seibert said the plans will be virtually the same.
“We’ll basically follow the same kind of thing we’ve done since I’ve been here as head coach,” Seibert said. “We will go eat breakfast as a team at Oscar’s, come back to school, pack up and get on the road about 9-9:30.
“We’ll stop at the time change and get them a snack, eat our pregame meal around 2:30 p.m. and get to the stadium in time to tape up and stretch.”
Athletic director Richard LaBounty said securing buses for the trip required a little extra legwork, but the school was able to get buses without any problems, despite Friday being the day after Thanksgiving.
“We got buses from Mobile that will be coming over to take the team,” LaBounty said. “We’ve done business with two different companies over the years and (the company we usually go with) wasn’t available. We couldn’t talk to anybody there, so there was a little bit of a panic there, but we moved over to a company in Mobile and we’re good to go.”
The Crusaders also are working on securing a fan bus for the trip. LaBounty said the school is gauging interest and information regarding a fan bus and that information would be released as early as today.
“We are trying to put together one fan bus right now,” LaBounty said. “We sent out an email and made announcements at school. We’re trying to see if we will have enough people coming forward. It’s a short week, and we have to commit to people (on Tuesday). It’s pretty expensive to get a bus, so we have to make sure the interest is there.”