THE SHADYSIDE Tigers have met every challenge that has crossed their path this football season.
The Tigers are 12-0 for the first time in school history. But their journey is still a work in progress; Hopefully, for three more outings.
Shadyside will face its stiffest foe of the season Saturday night at Zanesville. But when you are playing for a regional championship, you expect a formidable foe.
Glouster Trimble is the next assignment for Coach Mark Holenka's battle-tested charges. The Tomcats, the top seed in Division VII Region 25, are also a 12-0 unit. They have already vanquished two OVAC teams in the playoffs: Beallsville and Steubenville Central.
We see that trend ending for Trimble when the final horn sounds at Sulsberger Memorial Stadium. Tomcats are no match for these Tigers.
Shadyside's 12-game march has been a much more difficult road than the one traveled by their southern Ohio opponent.
The Tigers defeated four-eventual playoff entrants during the regular season, not to mention outlasting 7-3 Meadowbrook in a nail-biting opening-season road test.
The Tigers are still rinsing away a bitter taste in the collective mouths after going 10-0 and losing in its playoff opener a season ago. That setback has sharpened the focus and fortified the resolve of the Orange & Black.
Shadyside has displayed an unstoppable and punishing ground game to go with a suffocating defense. They are products of expert coaching, some elite talent rolled into dedication, teamwork and selflessnes, all supported by boundless community spirit and pride.
A win Saturday night punches this special breed of Tigers into the state semifinals.
We wish Shadyside the best of luck for a well-played and safe game, one that we fully expect will have the Tiger Nation celebrating victory for the 13th straight week.