Tonight’s district game against Gaither isn’t just your weekly trek under the lights, it means so much more. For the Warriors, it means a clean slate and a step forward to the first district championship and postseason appearance in team history. For the Cowboys, it means tying the Warriors and keeping their hopes for the school’s first district championship in years. It’s a deadlock, it’s more than a game, it’s the whole season on the line. Steinbrenner has come so far in two years and change. Gaither has taken a step forward and three steps back since losing running back Jarvis Giles to graduation in 2008. They’ve lost a coach and years of progression soured by losses and a tough district. While Class 7A District 7 doesn’t mean an easier ride for them, it gives them new life. New head man Jason Stokes is leading the team to what could be a banner year and that has his team foaming at the mouth at opportunity to defeat the Warriors two seasons in a row.
For Steinbrenner, the sheer thrill of the postseason gives the team a motivation to want to succeed and reach their goals. Entering only the second full-varsity schedule season the progression of a team led by underclassmen and a sophomore quarterback makes this story one to remember if they can make it all the way to the playoffs. For their coach Floyd Graham it means respect. The “rich school up in Lutz” has a chance to finally prove they can compete with the big boys. After being shut down under a local spotlight from WTVT channel 13 last season against Gaither, it’s about redeeming themselves on the biggest stage they’ve ever walked on. This is more than Strawberry Crest, this is more than beating Gaither, this is more than anything the young team has ever faced. This is for leverage in a district that seems within grasp. This is the biggest game in school history.