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PREVIEW: Dacula at Berkmar

Dacula's Michael Stampfel.

Dacula's Michael Stampfel.

Dacula Falcons (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Jared Zito

Record: 1-8, 1-6 region

Last week: Lost to Central Gwinnett 37-20

Berkmar Patriots (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Jonathan Sanks

Record: 1-8, 0-7 region

Last week: Lost to Parkview 38-7

Even with the playoffs out of reach, both Dacula and Berkmar say they have something to play for Friday.

“We are both fighting to get that second win,” said Berkmar head coach Jonathan Sanks. “We ain’t going to die easy.”

The same is true at Dacula, which has played teams tough seemingly every week before youthful mistakes caught up with them.

“We are focusing on this year and finishing strong for this team and these seniors,” Dacula coach Jared Zito said.

For the Falcons that includes senior receivers Michael Stampfel and Josh Bullock and outside linebacker Ethan Steed.

“He’s started every game for us,” Zito said of Steed. “He’s a guy we’ll miss next year.”

But both teams aren’t very senior heavy, part of the reason for this year’s struggles. Dacula took some injuries early and Berkmar faded late in games, unable to match its opponent’s depth.

“We aren’t that deep, but we aren’t that bad,” Sanks said. “When our first team gets tired, that’s a wrap. Our kids play hard every week.”

And so do the Falcons, making this game one neither team is going to give up on for lack of a postseason.

“It we win, it will definitely give us momentum,” Sanks said.

Zito agrees.

“We want to win this Friday to send our seniors off the right way,” Zito said, “and really start building toward our future. It’ll be exciting.”

Last meeting: Dacula won 50-6 last year

Directions to Berkmar High School: From I-85, go east on Pleasant Hill Road; school is

on the right just before Ga. Highway 29.