Norcross at Mountain View preview

Mountain View’s Matt Buddan

Mountain View’s Matt Buddan

Norcross Blue Devils (7-AAAAAA)

Coach: Keith Maloof

Record: 5-2, 4-1 region

Last week: Beat Collins Hill 28-0

Mountain View Bears (7-AAAAAA)

Coach: Doug Giacone

Record: 1-5, 1-3 region

Last week: Lost 38-13 to Peachtree Ridge

Even as the season wears on for the Bears, Doug Giacone says he sees things changing with his players.

“You are starting to see some belief in our kids’ eyes and a little bit of confidence in the process of what we are doing,” the Mountain View head coach said. “In today’s society of instant gratification sometimes it’s hard to build the patience into a process of creating a foundation for a program.”

Enter the record. The Bears have just one win this season, making the improvement Giacone stresses more nuanced. In their last two losses, to Collins Hill and Peacthree Ridge, the team trailed 14-13 into the second half before youthful mistakes caught up to the Bears.

“Our kids are fighting their tails off,” Giacone said. “We had some key mistakes and some key turnovers. We are still having that issue, but they are coming later in games.”

Those are the lessons he’s preaching — making plays like Matt Buddan did last week when he recovered a Lions’ fumble setting up Mountain View’s first TD. With Norcross visiting today, the Bears face as good a team as they will play in a schedule that includes five top-10 teams.

“I’ve been coaching 15 years and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a collection of athletes like they have on both sides of the football,” Giacone said of the Blue Devils. “When you combine great athletes with good coaching, they are a tough recipe to beat. That’s the meat grinder of the schedule that we have, but also what makes this region so much fun.”

Last meeting: Norcross won 48-6 last year

Directions to Mountain View High School: From Ga. Hwy. 316, go north on Ga. Hwy. 20 and bear right on Ga. Hwy. 124. Turn left on Sunny Hill Road and school is on the right.