By Brennan Riker
Special to The Post Dispatch
After a gruelling battle set for Week 7 against Jayton, the Southland Eagles will host the Guthrie Jaguars in Week 8, who are looking to reload in 2021 and are predicted to finish third behind Jayton and Motley County in District 7. This game will be Senior Night for the Eagles, although this won’t be their final home game of the season.
The Jaguars are coming off of a tough year from 2020, where Guthrie finished the season with a 3-8 overall record and a 1-3 district record. Their only district win came from a forfeit by Southland due to their depleted roster. The district slate was unforgiving to the Jaguars, as Guthrie suffered major shutouts at the hands of both Jayton and Motley County.
Guthrie did not lose any players from 2020, and all six starters on both sides of the ball will return for the 2021 season. The only downside the Jaguars will face is the late addition to their coaching staff, as Guthrie hired a new head coach, Jeff Denton, this July. With a new head coach at the helm, the Jaguars could face uncertainty with adjustments to different play-calling and a new coaching style.
“I know they bring back a couple of guys who put good film out last year,” Head Southland Coach Dusty Grantham said. “We did scout them before our season got canceled, and they have some good looking athletes. I know they just replaced their coach, so I have no idea what they will be doing yet, but it should be a good game for us.”
If the district opener for Southland against Jayton does not go the Eagles’ way, this matchup against Guthrie has the potential to get the Eagles back on track with a matchup featuring two closely even teams. Although it would be hard to determine how this game would go based on the fact that these teams did not get to face each other in 2020, expect a very competitive game from two teams who have had their fair share of hardships from their 2020 campaigns. Both of these teams will be eager to stay out of the bottom half of the district, and both teams will look forward to meeting up in a game that could be pivotal for both teams.
Southland and Guthrie will play on October 15th with kickoff at 7:30 pm at Eagle Field.