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Business as usual for Purples state title preparation

Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 9:11 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -For the Bowling Green Purples it’s business as usual in preparation for their upcoming state title game matchup against Owensboro.

“This is what’s expected every year in our program, is to win a state championship,” Purples heads coach Mark Spader said.

Saturday’s game will be the first state championship appearance for the Purples since winning it all in 2016.

“Coming into this season we didn’t know if we were going to have a season or even play a game,” senior Dylan Echols said. “So now that we’ve come this far, we just want to finish.”

In Bowling Green’s final week of practice, coach Spader is emphasizing to his players and staff to not let the moment get too big.

“You know we’ll have to get over that initial awe of stepping onto the field and trying to get over the feeling that this is a game bigger than what it really is, Spader said. At the end of the day, it’s a high school football game. We’re going to have to execute to win the game.”

“We’re taking it one week at a time, this is the last week,” senior Rece Jones said. “We can’t overhype it. We gotta play the same way we have.”

Spader is quite familiar with coaching in state titles games. He’s won five with Bowling Green as an assistant and is now looking to win his first as a head coach. With his players experiencing their first state championship, having a coach who’s been there before is a big help.

“Just gives us all the more confidence knowing he has that leadership, being there, and having that experience,” said senior Jordan Dingle.

We have a lot of guys on our staff, this is their first trip and of course, we have a locker room full of kids that this will be their first time up there,” Spader said.

A major part of keeping things business as usual for the Purples is having a great week of practice.

“That’s been really important this year,” Spader said. “Every week that we’ve had a focused great week of practice we’ve played well on game night.”

Dingle and Echols said the team’s mindset this week was focused and ready to go out with a bang.

“We’ve been amped up every practice,” Dingle said.

This season, teams across the state dealt with the possibility of abruptly ending due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spader told his team if they can win a title this season it would certainly be a special one.

“I said what’s more special than we’re on Kroger field at the end of the game holding our finger up in the air and we’re number one during a year like this,” Spader said.

Bowling Green and Owensboro will kickoff at Kroger Field on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2:00 p.m. CT.

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