Atlanta Rabbits look to set tone ahead of tough district schedule

Atlanta Rabbits squeaked by Tatum

ATLANTA, Texas — The Atlanta Rabbits must beat the Pittsburg Pirates Friday night to be in the driver’s seat at 1-0 in district play, says head coach Matt McClure.

“The biggest deal is we’ve got to be 1-0 after this week, and I think if we do that, that puts us in really, really good position to get into the playoffs,” McClure told Michael DelGiorno during “The Coaches Show” Monday live from the Rabbit Patch. “And that’s what you want to do.”

According to McClure, while Gilmer and Pleasant Grove get the deserved attention, Atlanta, Pittsburg, and Gladwater make the 4A-2 Region II District 7 schedule a five-week gauntlet.

“You feel like this district is good enough and tough enough and we match up really up really well with the district we’re going to play in the playoffs,” McClure said. “I mean, you feel like you get out you can play a couple of rounds. It’s about match-ups, but it’s just so hard to get out of this district with all of these teams.”

The Rabb’s (3-2) first test comes against the Pirates (3-2), who travel to Atlanta for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Listen to Bubba Kirkland and Rick Blackwood deliver the call on KPYN.net 900 AM/95.5 FM and the Freed AM Sports app with pregame at 6:30 p.m.

Last year, Atlanta fell 56-20 to Pittsburg in the first game of district play, finishing with a 2-3 mark and their first year missing the postseason in the McClure era. Atlanta will look to set the tone early in district play with a victory against a foe that has bested them in the past two meetings. The Pirates have an advantage already with having an open date precede their match-up with Atlanta.

“We get Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to really prepare for them, and they get the whole previous week and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to prepare,” said McClure. “That’s the way it is. We have to take care of us. I think if we take care of us, we play well, we’ll win the game.”