Homefield within Eagles’ grasp

Published 3:28 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eight Goshen seniors will suit up for tomorrow night’s game against St. Jude for what could be their final home game as an Eagle. Goshen and St. Jude will face off Friday night in the Eagles Nest for second place in the region standings.

“It’s a big game for us,” Goshen head coach Joe Thornton said. “It’s senior night and we’re having purple world. This is a big game for us in the region standings.”

Goshen is encouraging all who attend the game between the Eagles and the Pirates to fill the stands with purple.

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“It’s kind of like a blackout game at some schools, but purple here,” Thornton said.

If the purple magic leads Goshen to a win, they will tie for second place in the region with St. Jude and Keith if Keith can defeat Marion.

The three way tie will have to be decided by state tiebreakers that Thornton said will come down to the teams’ 10th game.

“We’re going to let the state figure all of that out,” Thornton said.

Thornton added that his team’s focus was on St. Jude, and not on the various situations that could play out.

“This is the last home game for our seniors, and they probably have the best athletes we’ve played from top to bottom,” Thornton said. “We’re going to have to play a great ball game to win this one.”

Goshen is in the state playoffs for the first time since a 2001 region championship, and Thornton said the team is excited about their opportunity to battle for second place.

“It’s a tradition on senior night that we let our seniors speak to the team before the game,” Thornton said. “They’ll stand up and say what this team means to them, and what a win would mean to them. They’ll speak from the heart, and I won’t even have to say anything.”

The Eagles have scored 203 points in their previous four games. Prior to that in the first four games of the season, the Eagles scored just 61 points.

Thornton said he hopes the Eagles can keep their offensive streak of late going strong against St. Jude. He is hoping the pre-game motivation from Eagle seniors and the purple world can help them in a big win.