By JIM NELSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Princeton and Greenbrier East have traveled similar paths this football season as they prepare for tonight’s contest at Hunnicutt Stadium.
Both teams welcomed new head coaches this year, and both have played rigorous schedules.
“They are a lot like us in that regard,” Princeton coach Randy Peek said. “When you play in the Mountain State Conference, you are going to face some tough teams.”
Peak’s Tigers head into their season finale on the heels of last week’s loss to Cabell Midland, the state’s top ranked AAA team.
“We knew going up there that they were very good,” the Princeton coach recounted. They don’t make mistakes and they swarm to the football.
“Still, we put together a nice drive to open the game and we were in a position to score before the drive stalled. I thought the effort from our kids was there.
“We reminded our guys that Cabell Midland was rebuilding a couple of years ago. Their kids bought into what they were doing and had a great off-season conditioning program. That’s a big reason they’ve been so successful — conditioning and a belief in what they are doing.”
Eight of Princeton’s nine opponents to date are on pace to make their state’s playoffs.
As the Tigers prepared for this evening’s contest, the coaching staff has seen some encouraging signs.
“I’m really proud of the seniors who have hung in there all year,” Peak said. “We’ve been working all week to get a victory for the seniors and send them out on a winning note.”
Peak and staff have also seen numerous underclassmen play well as their roles have expanded.
“A win tonight would really help us get some momentum as we head into the off season,” he continued.
Greenbrier East is a much more formidable assignment than the Spartans’ 2-6 record might suggest.
“They’ve played some really good teams very tough, and they are aggressive,” Peak stated. “Isaiah Kinder is a real athlete at quarterback and he’s capable of making plays with his arm and his feet. The (Cole) McClain kid is an excellent runner, too.
“We’re probably a little bigger than Greenbrier East, but they play hard and they’ll be a test on Friday.”
The Greenbrier East at Princeton game begins at 7:30 tonight at Hunnicutt Stadium, with radio coverage (STAR 95-FM) starting at 7:10.