It’s taken half the season, but the Sherman Bearcats football team can finally get into regular a routine the rest of the way.
After playing three Thursday games in a four-week span — including back-to-back games the last two weeks — Sherman will play on Friday nights the rest of the regular season.
“I think it will help a lot for our kids just to get rested,” Bearcats head coach J. D. Martinez said. “We’ve had three Thursday games in five weeks. That’s pretty tough to get in any type of rhythm, any type of routine.
“It’ll help us down the stretch. I’m hoping that we’ll have these four days of preparation and we can give them a little bit of rest on certain days now and just go on the mental side of it.”
The Bearcats have three home games, starting this week against Denton High, and road games at Denton Braswell and Wichita Falls High over the next six weeks.
“We’ve got these three weeks and then we’ve got a bye week,” Martinez said. “We’ll come out and finish it up the last two weeks and see where we are. Hopefully, we’re one of the teams standing in the end so we can go dance.”
Martinez said getting back to a normal schedule will also allow the coaches more time to prepare and implement each week’s game plan.
“I think it’s going to be good for us to get in that real good working routine of knowing what we have to do, when it needs to get done and working on Saturdays and Sundays and preparing,” he said. “But I think the big winner for this, hopefully, is going to be the kids. To have more time during the week to prepare. And also we can hopefully give them a little bit more of a resting time. It’s been bang-bang-bang and we’re up again. I think this will benefit our kids quite a bit.”
A step forward?
A year ago, Sherman suffered a 10-point loss at home to Wichita Falls Riders, falling behind on the opening kickoff and never being able to catch up.
In last week’s three-point loss at Rider, the Bearcats twice answered Raider scores with touchdowns of their own to take the lead, and stayed ahead until Rider scored the winning touchdown with 37 seconds to go.
While Martinez said the Bearcats have made improvement over the past year, he said comparing the last two meetings with Rider doesn’t really work.
“Every year is different and every team is different, so you don’t want to compare,” he said. “I think that’s apples and oranges. It’s just not the same.
“I believe our program is headed in the right direction, but I’m not sure that’s a measuring stick you can go look at because every year is so different and the kids are different. But I know we’re working really hard and we are improving.”
Bearcats tennis preparing for postseason
The Sherman tennis team clinched a third-place finish in District 5-5A with its victory over Denton Ryan on Sept. 19. After having the district bye this week, the Bearcats close out the regular season on Tuesday against Denison.
Bearcats coach Rodney Pilcher said having a postseason bid in hand takes some of the pressure off heading into the final match.
“It’s always good to have a spot clinched, but I hope we keep our focus for Denison,” Pilcher said. “Last year, we didn’t clinch until the very last match against Denison. This year, we clinched a little early. I hope we don’t let our guard down.
“Denison — no matter what their record is, not matter what our record is — is always going to be a dogfight. It doesn’t matter what (sport) it is. We’ve played them the last two years and come out on top 10-9 both times. It’s a point here, a point there.”
Pilcher said having a big rivalry match to close out the regular season will prepare the Bearcats for postseason play.
“I think it really helps us,” he said. “Denison just makes you get up for that match. It’s a Sherman-Denison thing. You’re going to get mentally up for it. You’re going to be physically ready. We’re going to have a good crowd come out. There’s going to be a lot of energy, so it’s going to be fun.”
The Bearcats will play the No. 2 seed from District 6-5A in the bi-district round. Pilcher said time, date and site of the match-up will be finalized once the 6-5A playoff teams are determined.
“It’s a little different this year,” Pilcher said. “Last year, the higher seed hosted. This year is different. We’ve got to get with the opponent we’re playing and decide whether we’re flipping for home-and-home or a neutral site.”