The Glen Rose Beavers have had a over a week to reflect and adjust from their week 10 loss to Prescott in the final game of the regular season. But that’s not all the Beavers are having to adjust from this week as they prepare for their round two 3A State Playoff game against West Fork.
“We have 10 starters out,” Glen Rose head coach Mark Kehner said.
Due to COVID-19 and quarantine restrictions, the Beavers will be without 10 starters this week as they host West Fork at Beaver Stadium Friday. “We’ve just got to move other guys into positions and get them ready,” Kehner said. “We’ve had two weeks to prepare and hopefully between now and Friday we don’t run into anymore setbacks.”
The Beavers will be relying on freshman this week as they take on West Fork. “We’re replacing a lot of guys,” Kehner said. “We’re going to start, for the most part older guys, but we’re going to probably have three freshman starting on defense.”
Having taken hits on both sides of the ball, Kehner is a bit nervous about how the new group will perform in Friday’s game. “We’ll be playing some inexperienced guys in spots and that makes you a little bit nervous to see how well they’re going to perform especially in a playoff game when the intensity picks up.” He isn’t quite sure what the offense will look like either until game day because they’ve taken “a pretty good hit on the offensive side of the ball.”
But, Kehner feels good about Friday’s game knowing that the Beavers have been battling hard the past two weeks. “Everybody’s battling, no excuses, we’ll put the next guy in, we’ll expect him to perform and we’ll do whatever it takes to win the ball game Friday,’ he said.
The Beavers have had two weeks to prepare and have bounced back from their week 10 loss to Prescott. “Prescott on that night was the better team by far, they came out and performed at a high level,” he said. “But they’ve [the Beavers] bounced back from it exceptionally well.”
Kehner knows that the Beavers didn’t execute well offensively and on defense gave up too many big plays. “We just didn’t execute at the level it’s going to take when you’re playing a team of the caliber as Prescott,” he said. “Then we gave up big plays defensively, which I’ve said all year long we can not do with an explosive team like that.”
Now the Beavers turn their focus to West Fork. The Beavers have worked hard in practice the last two week and with the influx of ninth graders have found a new energy too. “That’s good to have this late in the year,” Kehner said. “When you get to week 11, 12, 13, the energy level of your kids dictates whether or not they still want to go out there and play and ours are show that. They’re having good practices and they’re bouncing around, which as a head coach is good to see.”
West Fork comes in to Beavers Stadium as the fifth seed from the 1-3A conference. They finished the regular season 5-5 overall. It’s the second time ever the Beavers have faced West Fork in the playoffs. “It’s the second time we’ve had them,” Kehner said. “They wore us out in 2010 when they came down here, hopefully we come out and have a different result this time.” In 2010, West Fork defeated Glen Rose 27-7. But Kehner thinks that being at Beaver Stadium will have a positive effect on the Beavers. “Any time you’re in the playoffs and can be at home, I think that is a positive thing,” he said.
The battle for the Beavers will be uphill, but the Beavers know what’s at stake. They will just need to take one game at a time, not overlook anyone, and not take anyone for granted. It’s playoff time and the Beavers are “ready to go.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Beaver Stadium in Glen Rose.