The Tate Aggies are one of four semifinalists in Class 6A, and will compete at (Tampa) Seffner Armwood this Friday in the state semifinals.
Tate head coach Jay Lindsey will strive to not let the moment feel too big, and will aim to keep this week routine as possible.
However, the 468-mile (one way) trip is certainly not what the Aggies are accustomed to in the days leading up to a Friday night game.
This will be, by far, the Aggies’ longest trip of the season. In fact, if you add up the Aggies’ previous seven road trips of the season (covering a total of 231 miles), it still doesn’t get the Aggies halfway to Seffner.
Monday through Wednesday, we will practice like we have done every week this season,” Lindsey said. “We’re gonna leave for Tampa on Thursday morning. A little after school starts we will have a spirit walk, with the student body and teachers sending us off and wishing us good luck. Then we will travel all day.
“We’re gonna stop in Tallahassee to have a walk through at Florida State. We will have a normal Thursday practice there and then eat. We’re staying at a hotel in the Tampa area.”
As for Friday morning, Lindsey and the Aggies will cherish the down time and focus on the task at hand.
“Friday morning we are gonna get a big breakfast in,” Lindsey said. “We’ll let the guys sleep in a bit … usually they are up early on Fridays. We’ll have a little down time, but we will try to keep our schedule as normal as possible. We might have a little time to watch a movie or take a nap … just something to get us off our feet. We want our guys to have fresh legs and to be focused and ready to play.”
The Tate High School band will depart 7 a.m. Friday with student and fan buses leaving two hours later from Tate.
For those who can’t make the trip, Tate will host a game-viewing party in the Tate High cafeteria (also viewable at Tatefootballlive.com).
The Tate football twitter account reported that Escambia County Superintendent Malcolm Thomas donated funds to cover a live stream to make the viewing party possible. The Florida High School Athletic Association charges $500 for the broadcast rights.
For fans who are traveling without data coverage, game updates will be available through text messaging by sending “@tatehigh” to 81010″.
With the football team, band, students and fans combined, (as of Monday afternoon) Tate will send nine total buses to the state semifinal game.
For fans making the trip on their own, tickets are $9 and parking is $2.