Going out on a limb, a week after defending 7A State Champion Central-Phenix City imposed its will on Enterprise High School’s Wildcats, winning, 42-13, in Wildcat Stadium, the banged-up Cats won’t lose tonight.
In case you haven’t been keeping score at home, the 2-5 Wildcats have “Open” scheduled tonight. Enterprise previously had “Open” scheduled in October in 1988, ’90, ’91, ’95, ’98, ’99 and 2018.
Didn’t lose any of ’em.
Your scribe cannot recall an EHS season when so many of our blue and white-clad good guys have missed games due to injury and when ninth-graders have started and/or seen considerable varsity playing time.
It’s possible more freshmen have seen varsity action in 2019 than have played in EHS Friday games, probably dating to the 1930s, COMBINED.
Hopefully, this week off allowed injured players time to heal before traveling to Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl to play 7A Region 2 foe Robert E. Lee’s Generals (6-1) for the 19th time.
Enterprise and Lee have nine wins apiece in the series dating to a 16-8 Enterprise win Nov. 1, 1974.
So why the “Open” date this week?
Current Alabama High School Athletic Association schedules are redone in even-numbered years and for the past few years, since “Week 0” appeared in mid-August, teams have 11 weeks to play 10 regular-season games.
In 2016-17, “Open” was on the EHS schedule in the final regular-season week; in 2014-15, Enterprise was idle in the seasons’ first week.
So, now that the 2018-19 regular-season classification period is almost done, it’ll be interesting to see 2020-21 alignments and schedules.
Since Dothan High and Northview merged before for this odd season, we can expect New Dothan High, supposedly Alabama’s third-largest high school, to move into Region 2, joining Enterprise, Prattville, Auburn, Central, Smiths Station, Lee and Jeff Davis.
However, since Enterprise, Dothan and Northview were “moved” to Baldwin County to face Robertsdale, Fairhope, Foley, Baldwin County and Daphne in what was then 6A Region 2 for the 2012-13 seasons, there’s no telling.
Way back, had Alabama not balked at the $1 million asking price for Florida’s Panhandle, we might be grouped with Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola, Crestview, Wewa and Panama City’s schools.
It’ll also be worth noting other 7A changes, i.e. will there be 32 schools in the classification as there are now?
Drat, Oct. 11 has been good for Enterprise; some 13 times the Cats played games on this date, winning eight: Florala (’29 and ’46); Geneva (’35 and ’57); Elba (’74); Jess Lanier (’85); LeFlore (’96); and Dothan (2013).
Oct. 11 losses were to DeFuniak Springs (’40), Lanier (’63), Elba (’68), Mosley (’91) and Vigor (2002).
Moving along, obviously, nowadays in sports, amateur and professional, success is measured by championships won.
By that definition, that standard, Enterprise High hasn’t been totally successful since 1982’s 4A State Championship.
The Cats never played for the 6A title; haven’t reached the fourth round since 1993; last reached 6A’s third round in ’87 and ’92; and haven’t gotten to the third round since becoming 7A in 2014.
That’s a long, dry spell, but the Cats were 2-1 in October ’29, leading to the Stock Market Crash; 18-19-2, overall, during the Great Depression; and 27-7-2, combined, during World War II.
It’ll get better soon.
Nothing ever easy about skinning a live Wildcat.