JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - It’s a tale as old as time. Jackson Prep and Jackson Academy facing off in the MAIS Semifinals.
When these two teams met up back in September, Prep ran away with the win, but since that day, Jackson Prep’s win streak came to an end thanks to Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
So what does that mean for Jackson Academy? Well, it means that the unthinkable can be done.
They can beat Prep.
“It does give us some film to look at, so we can do some things that they did and see what we can improve on last game as well,” said Jackson Academy senior Webb Strickland. “It does help our confidence to know that it’s possible. They’re not a team that can’t be beat.”
“A lot of people ask why why we haven’t beat Prep yet but that’s just a really good team across the river,” added JA senior Noah Berrry. “We’ve had shaky seasons, but Coach Weems and the staff have gotten the Spank Tank back on track. The Spank Tank is all of us combining together and spanking anybody that hops in the way of us.”
“It’s playoff football,” said Head Coach Larry Weems. “It wouldn’t matter who the team was. Everybody loves to get to play for a championship. The next opponent you have is a big game because your season ends if not.”
It’s been quite a while since Jackson Academy has beaten Jackson Prep. Coach Weems and the seniors have never beat Prep.
“We’ve won six straight, so we’ve always felt like we have a target on our back,” said Jackson Prep senior Thomas Thorton. “With the loss this year to MRA, we just have to come out and play harder even if we do have a target on our back.”
“The mental approach to the game and the attitude of the players is what makes it so tough because it’s such a physical game,” said Prep Head Coach Ricky Black. "Once you play that team and you’ve won the first matchup, you feel like you’ve completed your mission, but then it rolls around again. In a rivalry game like this, all the emotions are high so you just hope that you play your best in the second game.
The winner of this game of the week will player either MRA or Parklane for the MAIS State Title.