Close but no cigar. Almost. Nearly.
All descriptions of the past four seasons for the Colquitt County Packers, who lost to the eventual state champion in either the state semifinals or finals each year.
This season, head coach Rush Propst and his Packers are once again considered state title contenders.
"I hope we always are," Propst says. "If you're not, you don't have your goals set right."
Propst will admit the team's close calls are motivating this year's team to finish the job.
"We get tired of hearing we've played more playoff games than anybody, that we've been to the semifinals or better, tied a state record and all that kind of stuff," Propst says. "We're ready to see the big prize, the one deal, the cup deal."
"To be honest, we're tired of getting there and not knocking it down," says senior QB Daniel Mobley. "So this year we're going to try to get there and knock it on down."
The Packers will have to run the gauntlet to get there though.
They play one of the toughest schedules not only in the state of Georgia, but in America.
They open the 2013 season against Grayson, another 6A power. That game will be played in the Georgia Dome as part of the annual Corky Kell Classic.
After Grayson, the Packers travel across state lines to take on Alabama powerhouse Hoover, where Propst formerly coached.
Add all that to the always-tough 1-AAAAAA slate, and the Packers have their work cut out for them.
But the Packers believe that schedule will only prepare them for November and December.
"You don't have a game off all year," says Mobley. "You have hard team after hard team. That's the way it'll be in the playoffs, too."
Colquitt County is celebrating 100 years of Packer football in 2013. They'll hold a community celebration before their home opener.
This team sees no better way to ring in a new century of Colquitt County football then by bringing home an elusive state title.
"It's a big opportunity," says senior DL Mike Parrish. "These kinds of opportunities don't come around everyday."
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