Back around Labor Day 2021, Lorena HFC Ray Biles, in his 24th year in that job, may have begun to question himself. His Leopards had lost their first two games and the next several matchups in 3AD1 District 11 didn't look like an easy series, which, in hindsight, may have even excited Biles.
But, little did Biles know back then—or did he?— that come the afternoon of December 16 the Leopards would be taking on Brock for the 3AD1 crown.
Whether Biles knew or not, his team was on the right track and he has now become widely regarded as a sometime scheduling genius.
The Leopards lost to Franklin on Aug. 27, 27-20, then on Sept 3, to China Spring, 21-13. Next week, Franklin meets Gunter for the 3AD2 title; and China Spring takes on Gilmer for the 4AD2 championship.
So it is, regardless of next week's outcomes, Lorena (13-2) has had an amazing 2021, with 3 of its 16 games against state finalists, including that against its next opponent.
The lesson perhaps? Coaches everywhere, make your 2022 schedule as tough as possible. Shiner and Falls City may have open dates.