BROOKLET — It’s been a long time since Southeast Bulloch had a chance for a three-game winning streak, but everything has been business as usual on the practice field this week.
Last Friday, the Yellow Jackets (2-0) played their home opener in front of a big crowd at Fred Shaver Field and set their fans home happy with a 23-12 win over Long County.
With the win, SEB has more victories this season than it had in the last two years combined.
“Obviously, we’re very pleased to be starting 2-0,” said SEB coach Pat Collins. “However, we’re also very realistic. The wins are nice, but we still have a lot of areas to improve on.”
The wins are a welcome change of pace, but the games take on more meaning tonight as the Jackets travel to Bleckley County (1-1) for the opening game of Region 3-AA play.
The Royals were one of many teams to pile on during SEB’s 0-10 run last season, running away with a 49-14 win.
This year, the Royals return their high-octane spread offense, but the Jackets plan to give them a better fight this time.
“Bleckley fully embarrassed us last year, and that’s something that we haven’t forgotten.,” said Collins. “It’s a little bit of extra motivation. Bleckley is a very good team again, and knowing that (coach) Sam Barrs is in charge, they’re going to be a very well prepared team as well.”
As good as the Jackets have been at getting on the scoreboard, Collins still sees a lot of room for improvement.
A few SEB drives that began in opponents’ territory have yielded no points and a multitude of penalties stalled several drives last week.
“The things that are stopping us are things that we have full control over,” said Collins. “Sooner or later, the margin for victory is going to get a lot smaller. We don’t want to come up short because of our mistakes.”
Despite the two wins, a new season begins with the opening of region play. Region wins are the determining factor to earning a spot in the playoffs, so the Jackets will need to keep up the good work as they make a run through a gauntlet of tough opponents.
“We realize the importance of region games,” said Collins. “But that doesn’t necessarily change our mentality. Each week, we’re working hard at practice and trying to be as prepared as possible, no matter who the opponent is.
“Bleckley might bring more athletes to the table tonight, but it’s a measure of how well a team can perform together on the field. That’s what we’ll try to do tonight.”
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.