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Eagles host rival Kinston Bulldogs

Rivalries are a big part of high school sports and while most area teams will play their biggest rival next Friday, the Pleasant Home Eagles face off against the rival Kinston Bulldogs this week.

The Eagles have already secured a playoff spot with an overall record of 5-3 and a 5-1 Class 1A, Region 2 record. The Bulldogs enter the game with a 3-5 record overall and a 3-3 record against region opponents. The Bulldogs' region record is good enough for a four-way tie for third place in the region making a win very important for the Kinston coaches and players.

The game is just as important for the Pleasant Home players and coaches because of the rivalry between the two schools.

"When I was in high school it was our biggest rivalry," Pleasant Home Head Coach Anthony Clark said. "Coach (Gary) Glass and I played against each other in high school. We played against each other in basketball because Pleasant Home didn't have football back then."

Clark said the players are fired up for the game against Kinston.

"This is a big rivalry for the kids," Clark said. "Our kids definitely won't overlook them."

Clark said the Eagles are still banged up with Chris Huckabaa still out for the season and Author Coleman doubtful for Friday's game. The good news, however, is that there are not any new injuries

to report.

"Nobody new is hurt," Clark said. "Coleman is very, very questionable. I'd say he's doubtful. He has practiced the last two days, but he is only at about 50 percent. But, we're in the playoffs so we can give him two weeks off (with an open week during week 10). There is no need to risk it."

Injuries have hindered the Eagles some this season, but Clark said the injuries have also forced the players to grow closer together by forcing them to depend on each other.

"We will try to continue to get better each week," Clark said. "We have a lot of young kids playing. Even though we miss the players who are hurt, I think we've become a better team."

Clark said the players can no longer afford to stand around and wait for Coleman or Huckabaa to make a big play. He said all of the players have stepped up to pick up the slack.

"It's made us work harder," Clark said.

The Eagles will continue to work hard and fans can expect to see the team play hard on Friday against the rival Bulldogs.