Ariton closes out season on a bye week

Published 7:09 pm Monday, October 28, 2019

After being one of the few teams to have a week zero game, the Ariton Purple Cats get to sit back and have a bye week heading into next week’s postseason.

The Purple Cats finished off the regular season last week with a 36-0 win over Cottonwood.

The win gives the Purple Cats an 8-2 overall record and a perfect 7-0 record in region play.

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After dropping their first two games, the Purple Cats have won eight straight games heading into the postseason. Before that, they will have to sit back and watch the final week of the regular season.

“I sort of wish we were still going,” head coach Steven Kilcrease said. “We have been playing really well lately and you want to keep that going. Our plan this week is we want to work on us and make us better. We had a good regular season. I told our guys it’s over now and we are in playoff mode.”

The Purple Cats loved playing their week zero game because it gave them an extra week to prepare for the region schedule. Because of that, they had to finish up their schedule a week earlier than most. It’s a tradeoff that Kilcrease would make again.

“We have a couple of guys (banged up), this would be good to give those guys a few more days to get well,” Kilcrease said. “We are not going to take it off, but sort of get away. I think it will be good for them. Regroup and get ready for the playoffs.”

The Purple Cats will host Chickasaw in round one. After focusing on themselves the first few days this week, Ariton will shift their focus on Chickasaw later this week heading into next week.

“Wednesday or Thursday we’ll start,” Kilcrease said. “For sure Monday or Tuesday we are working on Ariton. On Thursday, we’ll start introducing them.”

Earning first place in the region gives the Purple Cats a first round home game.

“It’s big because of the region we’re matched with,” Kilcrease said. “We’re matched with Region 1 which is the region around Mobile. It’s a long travel and we would much rather be at home. Playing at home, we have a good atmosphere here and our kids enjoy playing at home. That’s your goal, you want to get into the playoffs with the highest seed possible and guarantee yourself at least one home playoff game.”

Like the Purple Cats Chickasaw also will be off as they get ready to travel up to Robert F. Zumstien Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 on November 8.