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John Battle Headed To State Semifinals

By Preston Ayres, payres@wcyb.com
Published On: Nov 30 2012 11:26:14 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 30 2012 12:03:11 PM CST
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. -

Excitement in the air seemed to drown out the cold temperatures Friday morning at John S. Battle High School.

"Good to have everybody excited," says senior quarterback Brent Tipton.

“It's been a hectic week,” says Miaranda Quales, a senior cheerleader. “No one wants to do anything, [there are] signs all over the school"

They're looking ahead to Saturday and the football team's first ever trip to the state semi-finals.

"I'm not one that dwells on the history too much, don't worry about the past,” describes head coach Steve Wright. ”Try to worry about what is going on this day."

Coach Wright's message to the team this week can be summed up in one word: focus.

It's a tall order amid all of the fanfare. "[We're] really focused, thinking about the game,” says tight end Robert Luchini, “but living in the moment for sure, everything going on, but focusing."

"It’s just mindset,” says left guard Trey Jones. “Go do what you got to do to get yourself ready."

The entire school and folks from the community turned out Friday morning to support the team. "We practiced the cheers, practiced stunts, make sure to keep a positive attitude and back the team," says cheerleader Emma Hughes.

The Trojans are making a nearly 7 hour drive to the Virginia coast. They face an undefeated team from Essex.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.