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Brooke concludes season with home game vs. Preston

WELLSBURG — Brooke might not have a chance at the playoffs anymore, but the Bruins still have plenty to play for on Friday night, hosting Preston in the season finale.

Preston (4-5) still has a chance to qualify for the Class AAA playoffs with a win, meaning the Bruins (2-7) can play spoiler.

“I know they are a football team that is going to show up to Brooke Memorial pretty darn hungry because there is a lot on the line for them,” Brooke head coach Mac McLean said. “I’m pretty sure if they knock us off, they are going to the postseason. I’m not that familiar with Preston High School’s history, but I don’t think they have a lot of postseason berths, and it would be a real feather in that coaching staff’s hat to come up here and win and get in.”

While finishing 3-7 might not be what McLean and company hoped for at the start of the season, the chance to do so is a step in the right direction for the program.

“I think that if we can win, 3-7 doesn’t make anybody happy. But, after an 0-10 season, 3-7 would be a small step in the right direction,” he said. “Everyone would be leaving the field Friday with a good taste in their mouth, knowing about 95 percent of the football team is coming back. I think that would be a real good way to go into the offseason and build on a little bit of success this year and maybe be talking about a postseason berth ourselves next year.”

The Bruins have dealt with several key injuries this season, meaning there will be some young faces on the field gaining experience for the future.

“It’s a rough situation like we had Friday night when your starting quarterback goes down and you find out your backup has a concussion,” McLean said. “We lost a couple of players who aren’t going to be back this week, and we’re going to have to fill in the gaps as best we can.

“The ninth graders going out there, we’re going to have to depend on them in their sophomore year. They are going to have to step into starting roles (next year), so for them to get out there and some snaps under their belt is hopefully something they can build on.”

Being the end of the season, it also will be the final time Brooke’s six seniors.

“Senior night is an emotional night. It gets harder every year because when you’re new at this, you don’t know the seniors that well, but some of these kids I have been watching since they were in the junior high program,” McLean said. “They are about the right age that I grew up in the community with their parents. It’s going to be an emotional night for a lot of people. Hopefully, we can end it with tears of joy at the end of the night and not sadness.”

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