North Bullitt is playing with a chip the size of a manhole cover on its collective shoulder this year.
The 8-1 Eagles are quite aware that everyone picked them to finish at the bottom of their district standings. And who could blame the prognosticators? North Bullitt won one game a year ago.
After Friday’s 21-15 win over Bullitt East, the Eagles’ first win over their rival since 2011, North Bullitt has a bright, shiny 4-0 record in the district with just one game – next Friday’s regular season finale against South Oldham – left to play. Slaying the Dragons is a very tall task, but regardless of that outcome, the Eagles will be hosting a playoff game. And since their bye comes after the South Oldham game, they’ll have an extra week to prepare for it.
“It’s huge,” said coach Adam Billings of his team’s Bullitt Cup clinching victory Friday. “At the end of the day, I don’t care what anybody’s excuse is, we beat another team that everybody picked ahead of us at the beginning of the year. Everybody picked us dead last. We were unanimously sixth.
“These guys have worked hard and busted their tails all year long. And here we are with a guaranteed home game in the playoffs now. It’s exciting, but we’ve still got a long way to go. They say the first five games gets you ready for district and the last five gets you ready for the playoffs. We’ve got one more to go.”
Billings said before the game he and his assistants were talking about all the different ways the Eagles have won games this season. Jumping out to a 21-0 lead and holding on for dear life wasn’t one of those, but the very fact that the Eagles are comparing victories instead of losses is why they are where they are.
After the game the Eagles sang with the student body, then posed with the Bullitt Cup trophy at midfield. A couple of months ago the only people who believed they would be doing so were the teammates and coaches posing with them.