Greenback returns to semifinals after two decade drought
wbir.com-Greenback decided last Friday that the third round was not going to be the end of its season this year. The Cherokees secured a spot in the semifinals for the first time in over twenty years with their 56-28 win over Harriman.
Greenback has a combined 67 wins over the past eight seasons, but have always been stopped in the quarterfinal round or before. 1992 was the last time Greenback made it to the semifinals, which ironically is the same year co-head coach Greg Ryan played quarterback. For current quarterback Hunter Willis it's reassuring to know Ryan has been in the same situation before.
"It's great to know that we can be put in a spot to be successful. It's been 23 years since we've made it to the fourth round," Willis said.
Kayne Roberts feels the same way about Ryan even though he transferred to Greenback this year.
"It gives us a good edge, because they've been here. They know how the atmosphere is and how you need to play," Roberts said. "It's my first time playing in the semifinals. It's exciting and I love playing under him as a player."
Columbia Academy is the opponent Greenback will face Friday night, and even though the teams do not meet to play often Roberts still feels he knows what to expect Friday night.
"They have a really good receiver. He's about 6'3" or 6'4". He has good moves off the line of scrimmage, but if we play Greenback football we'll be fine."
Willis and the rest of the team are hoping for a large crowd Friday night and expect the atmosphere to be intense.
"There's going to be probably a lot of people here because it's been a while. People are excited, and we may be able to get a chance to go back to state," Willis said.
Unfortunately for the Cherokees, preparing for Columbia Academy isn't the only thing on their minds. The team made the decision to appeal lineman Josh Silvey's ejection from last week's game. Co-head coach Brent Kilpatrick said they could hear a decision on the appeal as early as Tuesday morning. If the ejection is upheld, Silvey would have to sit out Friday.