October 16, 2009 9:04:00 AM
Adam Minichino - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bubba Davis knows the time is coming.
Unfortunately, the Columbus High School football coach can''t give his players and all of the school''s fans the exact date.
The "date" in this instance is when the Columbus High football program will reverse its fortunes.
The Falcons'' losing streak stretched to six last week with a 53-7 loss to South Panola. The loss generated a little more negativity on Internet chat rooms from people who don''t think the Columbus High football program is on the right track.
Davis has been around coaching long enough to know he and his assistant coaches aren''t going to make everyone happy. But Davis, who is in his second season at Columbus, knows his kids are invested in the program, are working hard, and believe in what the Falcons are doing and that things will change.
Davis hopes things will begin to change at 7 tonight when Columbus (1-6, 0-3 region) travels to DeSoto Central for a Class 6A, Region 1, District 2 game.
"Last week was not a true indication of how far these kids have come," Davis said. "We believe we can win tonight. We think we can go up there and win a ballgame. The next thing is to go up there and make the plays we need to to put ourselves in the situation to win the game. It is difficult to do it when you have never done it before."
Davis has said many times it is difficult to win in a district that includes state powers like South Panola and Olive Branch and other tradition rich programs like Tupelo and Starkville. He said his team''s youth and inexperience have hurt it at times and have played a role in the team''s inability to make key plays that could have turned games.
Despite the disappointments that have come following a season-opening victory against Class 3A Aberdeen, Davis said no one in the program is giving up.
"We feel that day is coming," Davis said. "They have invested too much hard work for us not to be successful, but it is difficult to do with all of the young kids we have. If we win these next four, we get in the playoffs, and that is what our kids are going to fight for. They realize they have blown chances. When they go in there and watch film, they see when they have messed up or missed a tackle or missed a block. But they''re learning and hanging in there with us.
"We''re proud of our kids. We''re in an environment where few teams have won here. You have got to change the culture and change the mind-set. That is difficult to do, especially when there are those out there who have no investment in the program and are trying to pull it down."
Davis said he was disappointed by how the Falcons played last week because he sees the players'' potential every day in practice. He said the kids know they are better than the team''s record and it is just a matter of them going out and proving it when it on game nights when it counts.
"Winning solves a whole lot of problems," Davis said. "Like I told the kids (Thursday), we can''t look for the excuses. We have to go out and have to quit making mistakes and execute and when things go bad you have to find a way to overcome them. I think the coaches are still doing a good job and I think the kids still want to win. They are coming to practice and still trying to get better. A good win is going to be the thing that is going to put us where we want to go. We just haven''t been able to get it. We''re not quitting. We''re just making crucial mistakes at the times when we can''t make them.
"Nobody knows what the kids have done to get to this point. It''s obvious we have not won. It''s not because of effort. ... We can''t dwell on what anybody else thinks of us. The football team comes together and if you have to it is you against everybody else. I know our parents support our kids and our kids support each other. The coaches support the kids, and I feel the kids support us, and I think they trust us. They believe in what we''re trying to do. That is what really matters to us. We have a group of young men that is trying to do what we want them to do to be successful. Anybody who doesn''t want to be with us, there is nothing we can do about that."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.