West Point opens 5A playoffs at home

Hunter Cloud
Special to Daily Times Leader

The West Point Green Wave football team will surge onto the field in the crisp cold under the lights against Provine in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

There is no guarantee of another game at this point in the season. 

“We just realize now that without a win there will be no next game,” West Point head coach Chris Chambless said. “Our seniors take that very seriously. We have a big community mindset here with a lot of community pride and team pride on our football team.”

There are four games that separate West Point from bringing home their fourth straight state championship. When the Green Wave take the football field they are playing for the nearly 10,700 people who call West Point home, and they are playing for the 19,600 people who call Clay County home. 

“We know we are going to have the support of our community,” Chambless said. “Our players know that, and they don’t want to let this area, this city down.”

The team has 26 seniors who may take their home field one final time. Chambless said he wants to sell the stands out and have a full crowd for the games, but they are also prepared for if it doesn’t happen. 

“That means a lot, and it means a lot for our kids,” Chambless said of home-field advantage. “We know that doesn’t always happen, but we don’t let that affect our level of play either.”

The temperature will be in the low 40’s by kickoff for the game and will drop to the mid 30’s by 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.

Chambless said the temperature won’t affect his team because the team has practiced outside in the cold temperatures this week.

“In the past, we have thrived in conditions like this,” Chambless said. “We like it. “It is just a mental thing. Our kids don’t complain about it. It is just a mindset more than anything.”

Coming off of a shutout in a game against Center Hill, West Point hasn’t lost a single game since the second week of the season when they lost to Louisville. Currently the defense is giving up an average of 13.3 points per game and the offense is rushing for 269.3 yards per game. 

Comparatively, Provine (9-3) is giving up 19.83 points per game defensively and its offense has a balanced attack with 130.2 pass yards per game and 127 rushing yards per game.

Chambless said that Provine is a physical team so winning the line of scrimmage is important once the game kicks off at 7 p.m.

“You have to win the battle in the trenches to compete,” Chambless said. “Our guys know that our players are built for that. We are going to try and win the battle up front. Maybe things will come out on our end.”