Maury QB E.J. Gibson (Photo: Joe Barnes/recruit757)
The Maury Commodores have work to do, and may need help to reach the postseason
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
IF this were any other season, the Maury Commodores wouldn’t have to sweat it.
In a normal ten-game season, eight teams make the bracket for the Region 5A playoffs.
This year, the Commodores get six games and there are only four playoff positions up for grabs.
After a week two loss to Lake Taylor, Maury is pushing uphill to make the playoffs and defend their VHSL Class 5 State Championship title from 2019.
“Too many things are stuck on the 2019 team and what they did. That time is over. I’m past it. The coaches are past it. We’re focused on the group now. A lot of outsiders want (this team to be) the 2019 team, and that’s not what it is. That’s not what it’s ever going to be. Every year is a different team,” stated Maury head coach Dyrri McCain during a practice this week.
The Commodores are coming off of a solid win against a Norview team that is emerging as a threat in the Eastern District. The Pilots may not be a playoff team this year, but they’ve lit up the scoreboard on several teams this season. Maury held Norview in check, winning 41-14 last Friday night.
“We started out a little slow, but we got it together. The guys understood the plan and stuck to the plan. We just had to do some things better. At the beginning of the game we didn’t tackle well. We didn’t execute on both sides. Once we calmed down and got locked into the game plan, we were fine,” said the coach.
Maury has a game Saturday afternoon at 1 against Wilson (0-3). Then they’re slated to finish the season against Churchland (3-0). A win against Wilson is expected. A win against Churchland could affect the Truckers’ playoff position negatively and could vault Maury into the playoffs. Churchland sits atop the Region 4A power ratings by a slim margin. In Region 5A, the Commodores may need a loss by Cox, Deep Creek, Salem or Princess Anne in order to keep playing after April 1.
“(This group) has been a next man up mentality team. From what we’ve faced this year and guys stepping in, we’ve had a lot of freshmen and sophomores play. I’ve been impressed with young guys stepping up and being able to produce,” McCain said. “We gotta keep winning. We can’t lose. If we win, let everything else take care of itself. Let other people have the conversations on who should be in or who should be out. We just gotta keep winning. Seeing that we’re a team that had no losses in 2019 and we lose to a state championship team earlier on this year, if that’s what keeps us out, we’ve got something to fight for during the fall.”
“If we’re in, cool. We get ready for whoever the opponent is. If not, we start getting ready for the fall and take that as a way to get better in the fall.”
– Andy Hilton