STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - How do you prepare for a challenge no one expects you to overcome?
For the Bulloch Academy Gators, the answer is to embrace it.
“We’re ready for the challenge,” smiles senior guard Pierles Brown. “I can’t wait to play against them.”
“There’s no pressure on us,” laughs head coach Chance Cofield. “I mean, no one is giving us a chance to win.”
The lack of confidence in the Gators isn’t so much about them as it is who Bulloch is playing in Friday’s GISA Class AAA state semifinal.
“I’ve never seen a kid like that since I’ve been coaching,” Cofield admits.
He’s talking about Anthony Edwards, the 6′5 swingman for two-time defending state champ Holy Spirit Prep. Edwards is one of the top high school basketball prospects in the country. He committed to Georgia earlier this year, and is already being projected as a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Cofield can see why.
“He can do everything. He can shoot the ball from the outside. He can drive to the goal and finish,” Cofield says. “He can jump with the best of them. He tries to put on a show every time he plays.”
The Gators don’t see this as a challenge to be intimidated by. Instead, it’s an opportunity.
“We have to be confident," says senior guard Don Aaron. "If we go in scared, it’s over from the start. We just have to do what we do.”
“You may see this kid in the NBA one day. You can say I played against that guy," Cofield says "If you can beat him, that’s even better.”
Maybe it is a longshot for the Gators to pull the upset. They’re just fine with that.
They say it makes it even more fun if they win.
“It’d be something special," Cofield says. "They’d have bragging rights for the rest of their lives.”
Bulloch’s attempt to shock the world happens Friday at 6:30 p.m. from the Storm Dome on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State in Americus.