News 25 Game of the Week Preview: East Central vs. Picayune
From one side of the Coast to the other, let’s meet in the middle right here at WXXV for the ‘News 25 Game of the Week.’
In a match-up of perhaps the two most dangerous teams south of Jackson, this week’s 5A clash between Picayune and East Central is also a family affair.
Long-time Maroon Tide Head Coach Dodd Lee just so happens to be the father-in-law of Hornets Head Man Seth Smith.
But with retirement looming at the end of this season for Coach Lee, after 39 years this will be their last head-to-head meeting, at least in the regular season.
And what a showdown it’s shaping up to be to kick off Region 4 play, starting with undefeated Picayune.
The Tide has been nothing short of dominant to start 2019, averaging more than 52 points per game. East Central is proving to be just as explosive with offensive outputs of 56, 57, and 70 points respectively in each of their last three games.
As for the house divided, Coach Smith is calling the Maroon Tide the Alabama Crimson Tide of high school football and Coach Lee Coach Saban.
In addition, the two coaches turned rivals say they’ve yet to communicate this week at least not directly. Coach Smith said, “Yeah, I’d answer but I probably wouldn’t tell him how many times we’re going to run the power. Yeah.”
Coach Lee said, “I haven’t talked to him this week. It’s probably the first time since I don’t know when that we haven’t spoke during the week. But I’ve talked to his pretty little wife six or seven times this week and been in contact with her, but it’s just kind of weird and there’s really not a lot to be said.”
Coach Smith said, “Obviously, me being a little facetious but at the same time I think it’s a legit comparison from a high school standard. I mean Coach Lee is the standard of high school coaching. He’ll be a hall of famer. He’s won well over 200 games, state championships. Been there 25 years and I think worst season they won five games. That’s unheard of. So that wasn’t a false narrative. That was what we think is a fact and we know if we don’t play well that we’ll be in for a rough night.”
Coach Lee said, “What is he, Dabo Swinney? I mean this is high school football and it’s all about effort and that’s what it’s all about. High school football is about great effort and conditioning and discipline and you can have a lot of talent without those intangibles and you’re going to get your behind beat with it. And they’re going to break your heart.”
Picayune and East Central will kick off the ‘News 25 Game of the Week’ at 7 p.m. tomorrow from Hurley.