“Hey, Coach, what are y’all gonna do?”
If Temple head coach Scott Stewart has heard that question — or some version of it — once this week from calls, texts, emails or fans knocking on his office door, he’s heard it a thousand times.
When Stewart’s playoff-bound Wildcats (8-1 overall, 6-1 District 12-6A) complete their regular season against Copperas Cove (6-3, 4-3) on Friday night at Bulldawg Stadium in the old district foes’ first meeting since 2013, these are the burning questions:
— Will Temple go full bore to win the game and potentially a share of the district championship, if rival Belton (7-2, 6-1) wins at first-place Hewitt Midway (7-1, 7-0)?
— Or will the Wildcats employ an alternative strategy — not using key players for the entire game; monitoring how Belton-Midway unfolds, etc. — that could give them a more advantageous situation in the playoffs’ first round and perhaps beyond, even if that possibly means a third-place finish in 12-6A?
Stewart, of course, is well aware of all possible scenarios. If Temple beats Cove, the Wildcats likely will play a true road game in the Class 6A Division II bi-district round, against fourth-ranked Longview. But if Temple loses, it will host a first-round game at Wildcat Stadium against a team with a losing record from 11-6A: Mesquite Horn or Tyler Lee.