CALUMET CITY | If you are the T.F. North football team, you can be satisfied with qualifying for the state playoffs or try to get some momentum going into them.
The Meteors had 37 playoff points going into Friday's 37-0 South Suburban Blue loss to Lemont and picked up at least two more with Lemont and T.F. South winning. That should be more than enough points to qualify for the postseason for the second straight year.
If you were at Friday's game, you saw a powerful Lemont team run all over the Meteors, though it was more of North running backward most of the first half. Whether it was to try and elude a ferocious Indians defense or just getting pushed back, Lemont clearly dominated the game and intimidated T.F. North.
The Meteors were held to minus-14 yards rushing, fumbled four times, and threw three interceptions. With a tough Eisenhower team coming in next Friday and with homecoming also on the docket, the Meteors need to keep the distractions to a minimum.
"We need to go at it in practice and we have to believe in ourselves," senior linebacker Delon Perry said. "It is what we do Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at practice will determine how we will play on Friday."
Yes, 6-3 is a lot better than 5-4. It also means a little better seed and possibly not facing a 9-0 team. Depending on how the brackets play out, a 6-3 team could get a 7-2 team, though 6-3 usually guarantees you are on the road.
Quarterback Dion Beecham said what most of his teammates probably feel and that is to flush the loss to Lemont out of their minds, but correct the mistakes that were made.
"We know Eisenhower is a good team and we have to put all of our efforts to preparing for them," Beecham said. "We have to be ready to play and put all that other stuff (homecoming activities) behind us."
North (5-3, 3-3) has been a team with thin ranks most of the year. It lost quarterback Calvin Lindsey in a 56-52 loss to Tinley Park and has endured other injuries like Perry (shoulder). He is just playing one way, but if you look at how he didn't sit out to get ready for the playoffs, that should be inspiration enough. The ranks are thinning, but the Meteors have held together, though you wonder if it is by glue and tape, but they have played through adversity.
"We need to have a good start Friday (against Eisenhower), and build some momentum," Rogers said. "Tonight (Friday against Lemont), we got down early and sometimes when we start slow, we don't always get on track."
The powder puff games are nice as is the pep rally, but the focus should be Eisenhower and a good week of practice for T.F. North.
This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.