WHITE HALL — So, how high has White Hall been this week?
After beating archrival Watson Chapel and going into its homecoming game against a team that shares second place with White Hall and Watson Chapel, that would be the question of the week.
Coach Mike Vaughn doesn’t have an answer for it, nor can he say just yet how well White Hall has managed its high.
“We won’t know until tomorrow night,” he said after Thursday’s practice.
Vaughn hopes the Bulldogs’ high doesn’t entirely come from this week’s festivities as they gear for an up-and-coming Hot Springs team that’s in the thick of the playoff race in the 5A-South Conference. The Trojans (5-2, 3-1 in 5A-South) already have won four more games than last year and are looking for a win to likely put the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1) on the hot seat.
“It’s very difficult to be as focused as you need to be every single week, especially after a big win and homecoming,” Vaughn said. “I expect it to be difficult for them. I think these guys know a loss at this point in time just null-and-voids everything you’ve done at this point.”
Well, not entirely. White Hall at worst can be tied with Hope for the fourth and final playoff spot, assuming the Bulldogs lose tonight and Hope somehow upsets conference leader Camden Fairview.
Right now, the Bulldogs are in the driver’s seat for a home playoff game, and that’s why beating the archrival last week was deserving of an emotional high.
If White Hall’s defense can carry momentum from the fourth quarter of last Friday’s 48-41 win, the Bulldogs will have a great shot of beating the Trojans. White Hall managed to keep Watson Chapel scoreless in the final 12 minutes.
There weren’t many distractions the Bulldogs had to overcome that week despite the enormity of the game, according to Vaughn. He is waiting to see if the Bulldogs have kept them at bay in preparing for the Trojans.
“This week is homecoming, and there are a lot of distractions, and I told them on Monday, how you deal with that will determine how good of a football team you are,” he said.
Tonight will be a homecoming for Hot Springs coach Chris Vereen, whose father Charles is the former head man at White Hall.
Hot Springs has won three straight after opening conference play with a 41-23 home loss to Watson Chapel. The Trojans haven’t scored fewer than that since, but their defense has had to dig deep all season.
They allow 23.6 points per game and have held only one team to single digits. That was in a 35-6 season-opening win over Pulaski Robinson.