Belpre, Waterford Fight for Playoff Positioning

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Belpre (7-2, 6-1) and Waterford (5-4, 4-3) face off in the final week of TVC-Hocking regular season play this Friday.

But it’s more than a typical Friday night matchup, each team has one opportunity at stake: the playoffs.

Belpre’s playoff chances are locked in, but with a win Friday night, the Golden Eagles can secure a home playoff game. If so, Belpre will have the chance to host a home playoff game for the first time since 1955.

“Being able to win that game would be icing on the cake. It’s something the community has never experienced,” said Head Coach Greg Adams.

Not only are the Golden Eagles chasing a home playoff win, they are chasing their first playoff win in school history.

On the other hand, Waterford’s playoff scenario needs a bit more luck. With a win, the Wildcats will still need some help from other teams in the region to make the final cut. A loss cancels any shot they have for postseason play.

Head Coach Tom Tucker is well aware of the gravity of Friday’s matchup.

“The seniors know what is riding on the game tomorrow night. To play in week 11, we gotta win. I think they are ready for the challenge,” said Tucker.

If both teams make the playoffs, they will land in Region 25 of Division VII, a Hocking heavy division.

But first, all eyes are focused on closing out the regular season.

For Waterford, they have to beat the turnover game. According to Tucker, when the Wildcats’ turnover margin is down, their success is high. When countering an offense of Deijon Bedgood and Tavian Miller, the Wildcats have to be accurate.

For Belpre, Coach Adams wants his 13 seniors to go out strong, but he doesn’t want the success to stop with them.

“We want to get the program to the point where we can reload every single year. We think Belpre football will be good for many more years,” said Adams.

The future is bright for the Golden Eagles, but the present burns even brighter. Friday night holds the opportunity for two teams to make history.

“We are not taking Waterford for granted. They are a well-coached team and they’ll be prepared. Likewise on our end. It’s going to be a special evening,” said Adams.

When playoff implications are on the line, how can it not be?

Kickoff is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Belpre High School.