The AHSAA state football playoffs officially start next week.
But Scottsboro head coach Don Jacobs said his team will get a playoff preview Friday night.
Scottsboro (7-2) welcomes Class 6A Hartselle (4-5) to Trammell Stadium tonight for the regular-season finale for both teams. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
It’s the 7th all-time meeting between the teams in a series that is tied 3-3.
Like Scottsboro, Hartselle is also headed to the postseason. The Tigers qualified as the No. 4 seed from a rugged Class 6A Region 8 and plays next week at Fort Payne in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Jacobs said “Hartselle is still Hartselle” even though its record is uncharacteristic for its tradition-rich program.
“They’re record, they play a really tough schedule, play in a tough region. Whatever (their record) is doesn’t change their mentality,” Jacobs said. “Hartselle is always going to play hard. They play hard because their granddaddies played hard and their daddies played hard.”
The Tigers’ losses came to teams that are a combined 38-11, including undefeated 6A No. 2-ranked Muscle Shoals and 5A No. 8 Briarwood Christian (9-1). Their other setbacks were to 6A Athens (8-2), 7A Austin (7-3) and 6A Cullman (5-5).
Scottsboro enters Friday’s game having won seven of its last eight games and bound to host Russellville next week in a Class 5A first-round playoff game.
Jacobs said the Wildcats’ aren’t looking ahead to the postseason because “we’ve got a chance to finish 8-2” in the regular season and “that’s big,” But the matchup with Hartselle will benefit his team in the postseason, he said.
“Hartselle is a measure stick. This is a chance to see what it’s going to be like in the playoffs,” he said. “Everybody is good in the playoffs. Those (No.) 2-3 (seeded) games in the first round, those teams are usually pretty even. You’ve got to get yourself prepared for what’s coming down the road. This game (vs. Hartselle) will help prepare us. We need to go out there and get better and do the things we need to do and clean up some things and sharpen up.”