With the possibility of a baseball state championship drawing closer for Greenbrier and Evans, I can't help but do it.
Coaches hate it, but I do it anyway.
I'll ask them a certain question before an upcoming game. It's harmless, really. No tricks. No agenda. Just a simple question.
"What do you think about the game coming up after this one?"
Immediately, they throw it out with a firm head shake and a quick one-liner.
"The only game we're looking at is our next one."
They refuse to look ahead. Greenbrier or Evans could be playing the West Acres Baptist church softball team Friday and the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
"Coach, do you have any comments about the Braves game?"
"Nope. We're taking it one game at a time. That church softball team has a good left-center fielder. We should have plenty of stolen bases, though."
Maybe I'm going a little overboard.
The truth is, coaches can't talk about any other games. If they did, there's always the chance that the church softballers would pull off an upset. Then the critics come out of the woodwork asking why the coach was talking about the Braves instead of preparing his team for the "foul ball on a third strike is an out" rule.
Fortunately for me (and all of this generation's youth), I am not a coach. As such, I've been looking ahead all season long.
As soon as the baseball region results came in, I quickly filled out the brackets by hand and soon saw potential final four match ups, home field advantage tie breakers and possible Cinderella teams.
So all you coaches and baseball purists out there, I'm warning you now - stop reading. We're looking ahead.
Have you seen the number of strong programs already sitting at home? Three of the state's top teams (No. 7 Luella, No. 8 Forest Park and No. 9 Lee County) didn't make it out of the first round. No. 4 Alexander didn't even make the state playoffs after a region loss to Woodward Academy ended its season. That means of the 16 teams that made it to the second round, only six are ranked.
That should tell you something about the state's ranking system.
Now, looking exclusively at this year's bracket, we can see that the hands-down No. 1 team entering the tournament is Greenbrier.
They're the only team undefeated in the entire state of Georgia regardless of class, but the Wolfpack are seeded equally with Region 6-AAAA top team North Forsyth (24-4).
Because of a random tie-breaker, the undefeated and top-ranked Greenbrier team will go on the road in the state quarterfinals. So much for rewarding perfection.
Finally, there's one more matchup to consider. As a sportswriter, I drool at the thought of it.
Greenbrier and Evans - Columbia County's version of the Hatfields and McCoys - could still meet one last time. That final meeting would only happen in the Class AAAA state championship series.
Looking at the brackets, Evans has had no ranked teams between it and the Final Four since the second round. If that's not good enough, the Knights are a three seed with a home series in the state quarterfinals against Marist - a team that exactly one month ago had a record of 11-10.
Greenbrier has the tougher road to a possible state finals match with Evans. The Wolfpack have to face No. 3 North Forsyth on the road this week in the state quarterfinals. However, if Greenbrier can live up to the hype (again) it's home games for the rest of the playoffs for the Wolfpack.
Of course, it might be too early to mark it on your calendar (Friday, June 2, 4 p.m. double-header at Greenbrier). Then again, I'm looking ahead.
Now, about that Atlanta Braves/New York Mets series in September ...
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