Comets

Halifax County High School’s Brandon Davis (44) wraps up and takes down Patrick County High School runner Carson Merriman (33) on a play during last Friday night’s Piedmont District game at Patrick County High School in Stuart.

After having played on the road the past three weeks, the Halifax County High School football team will wrap up regular-season play Friday night facing Tunstall High School in the Senior Night game here at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium.

Halifax County High School officials will recognize the 24 seniors on the Comets squad and their parents prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff.

“There are a lot of guys that have contributed to Blue Comets football throughout their high school years, and it’s nice to recognize them and their parents before the game,” said Comets head coach Grayson Throckmorton.

“Everybody will be recognized, and then we can play a good football game and hopefully get a win against Tunstall High School.”

The honoring of the seniors is always a big item on Senior Night, but that is only a part of what is surrounding the Comets Friday night.

Halifax County High School, 6-3 overall, 3-2 district, enters the game in a “must win” situation in its quest to land a home game a week from Friday in the first round of the Virginia High School League Region 4D post-season playoffs.

“If we want to have a shot at a home game, this is a “must” win,” Throckmorton pointed out.

“That is a little bit of fuel we have been using to try to prepare and motivate ourselves for Friday night. We all understand if we were to lose Friday we most likely will be on the road, and if we do win, there is a really good chance we will host.”

On top of that, there is a pride factor.

If the Comets win Friday night, they will end regular-season play with seven wins. That would make this season’s Comets team the first Comets team since the 2006 season to win as many as seven games in a season.

Also Friday night, the Comets will be looking to reverse the tables of recent Senior Night games. The last time a Comets football team won on Senior Night was the 2015 season.

In Tunstall High School, the Comets are facing a Trojans team that stands 1-8 overall and is trying to end its season on a positive note.

“They have some guys that can play,” Throckmorton pointed out.

“Tunstall played Patrick County in a really close game and lost by a touchdown. They are right there. If you are a big person about looking at paper, Patrick County barely beat them, whereas Patrick County played us really well.

“A lot of that (the Comets’ 27-8 loss to Patrick County High School last week) had to do with our mindset and the shape we were in,” added Throckmorton.

“Be that as it may, Tunstall is a team we cannot take lightly, and we’re not. I can assure you, the players have been coached and told and are working hard on not taking anybody lightly and preparing the proper way.”

Injuries remain a key part of the picture as the Comets move forward in preparation for Friday night’s game.

“Last week, we were extremely decimated with injuries,” Throckmorton noted.

“Our guys are going through treatment with our trainer, and some have had doctor’s visits and so forth trying to get themselves back on track on the healthy road, which will help us plug some of the holes we had.

“When you have a lot of guys hurt, you’re having to move people around, and guys are playing out of position somewhere that is unfamiliar to them,” Throckmorton continued.

“It’s a ripple effect, a domino effect. It doesn’t affect just one thing, it affects two or three other things. That, sometimes, becomes insurmountable.

“Hopefully we will have some guys back in the lineup to bolster us a little bit in our lineup,” Throckmorton added.

“If we do, and things go as intended, that will make a big difference as far as our continuity goes.”

Another factor that could creep into the picture Friday night is cold weather. It was cold last week at Patrick County High School in Stuart, and colder temperatures are forecast for Friday night’s game.

“You would think that is something you wouldn’t have to address, but we do, simply because it is a change,” Throckmorton explained.

“Anytime you have a change, whether it is in the weather, the schedule, or practice, change is not always good. When you have change in football, it sometimes poses issues. The weather changing is something we’re going to have to battle through as well. I’m hoping that after all of this week of us talking about it is going to be cold and that you have to get over that and move forward, it won’t be a big factor.”

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com