Augusta Preparatory Day School soccer coach Doug Williamson doesn't buy the analogy, but he certainly understands the comparison.
The Cavaliers have been a bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this season, and it appears Prep is getting mean at just the right time.
After struggling to a 5-4-1 record, the Cavs rallied to record 10 regular- season victories. That marks the first time an Augusta Prep squad has ever posted double-digit win totals in back-to-back seasons.
"Most teams would be happy with 10 wins, but we've had an up-and-down season," Williamson said. "Some days we seem to be out of sync. It's been really hard to figure out."
The 10th win is expected to bring things into focus. Prep closed the regular season last week by edging Westminster 1-0.
"The guys rose to the occasion and accomplished a goal, and to do it against Westminster was really nice," Williamson said. "In a lot of ways, this is a good sign for the playoffs."
Augusta Prep opens the Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA playoffs at home Thursday against First Presbyterian Day (4:30 p.m. kickoff).
Though a succession of injuries and a couple of tough defeats set them back, the Cavaliers have found a groove. Prep closed the regular season on a 5-0-1 run and last week beat Westminster, which was ranked No. 2 in the state.
"You don't win with magic and mirrors, you do it with hard work on the field," Williamson said. "A couple of players have scored most of our goals, but this is genuinely a team effort."
Leading scorers Thomas Knerr and Patrick Welch, with Ian Evans and Michael Crosland, spark the midfield attack, but some lineup changes by Williamson have helped key the late surge.
Peyton Bell moved from midfield to marking back, and David Knerr switched from back to midfield. Sophomore Wilder Harte stepped in at sweeper, and Jason Trefz has also solidified the back-line play.
"We have twice made some major shifts of on-field personnel, and on both occasions it's had the desired result," Williamson said. "We tried some new things and it lifted our game a little bit. I think we're on a good swing now."
Augusta Prep can't afford a letdown in first-round playoff action this week. The Cavaliers are the No. 2 seed from Region 4-AAA, but match up against Region 2-AAA which is considered the toughest in the GISA.
That means FPD is not going to be a typical No. 3 seed, according to Williamson.
"FPD would be first or second in a couple of regions. We'll have to move the ball quickly and efficiently on offense to beat them," Williamson said. "If we play to our capabilities, we've got a good shot at winning, but in the playoffs you have to be lucky and good."
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