Game: Walker (1-8, 0-3) at Mount Paran Christian (0-6, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.

Last year: Walker 21, Mount Paran 20

All-time series: Walker 21, Mount Paran 20

Prediction: Walker 24, Mount Paran 20

Walker and Mount Paran Christian will see their regular seasons come to a close when they face off in a Region 7A-Private contest at Catherine Steele Sewell Stadium on Friday.

However, one will go to the playoffs. The winner of this game will qualify as the region’s No. 4 seed

It’s been a roller coaster season for both programs as they’ve each learned to overcome adversity heading into this final week.

Walker underwent a mid-season coaching change that saw Aaron Dobbins take over Michael Gunn in early October. Dobbins saw immediate success in his coaching debut with a convincing victory over visiting St. Francis. The schedule has been much more difficult over the past month with the Wolverines taking on Christian Heritage, North Cobb Christian and Darlington teams that are a combined 19-5 on the season.

Dobbins, however, has enjoyed watching his new team grow and compete since taking over and he looks forward to the competitive matchup he expects his team will face against Mount Paran.

“They’re a resilient group,” Dobbins said. “Getting them to go with the coaching change and transition to going from wanting to play to competing to win has been the biggest thing. Teaching them that mindset to believe in themselves has been our focus, and they’re coming around.

“It’s hard mid-season to do a complete 180. It’s something you have to work on one day at a time and that’s what we’re trying. They’ve bought into that. We’re not worried about the past or the future, just what’s going on that day, and that’s been helpful.”

Mount Paran’s adversity stems canceled games due to the pandemic. The Eagles have lost four games related to COVID-19, including the last two against Christian Heritage and North Cobb Christian. One contest was made up when Brookstone was added to the schedule in lieu of the Eagles’ original season opener against Lakeview Academy.

Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan applauds his staff, players and the Eagles’ community for the way they’ve handled this adversity, and he’s only disappointed that his athletes didn’t get as many chances as they wanted to play competitive football on the field.

“The quarantines and the safety precautions were necessary because we want people to stay healthy,” Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan said. “I’m not as much frustrated by the cancellations as I am disappointed that the kids didn’t get a chance to play.

“When we play (tonight), we’ll have been off a month. That’s a long layoff, but the guys will get back on the field to support and celebrate our seniors and be focused on the game.”

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