Sometimes a team has to face the very best early on in order to be ready for greater challenges down the road.
This could be said for the 2012 West Point Green Wave (7-2; 5-0) who will face perhaps their toughest challenge on Friday night when the undefeated Oxford Chargers (9-0; 5-0) come into town.
Itâ€™s not certain if the Chargers will be the best team West Point has faced this year, but Oxford comes to town a district challenger, with the district on the line.
Neither team has lost a district game to date.
Oxford has not lost a game in 2012, but it can be easily argued that Oxford has not faced the competition that West Point has faced.
In week one, Oxford was hosting Grenada High School, a team that has lost five of its first nine games.
That same week, West Point was on the road, facing one of the toughest teams in the nation in South Panola.
The Green Wave nearly pulled off a rally that Saturday night, losing by two points on a last-second field goal by Panola. It was clear that the defense was solid enough to win games, but the offense had its struggles.
Both teams went undefeated during weeks two and three, but on week four, while Oxford was on the road at Senatobia (3-6), West Point was taking on Noxubee County (10-0; 4-0).
West Pointâ€™s defense was championship strong that night, but that contest went in favor of the Tigers 6-0.
Since then district play has seen Oxford and West Point roll through unbeaten. On Friday the two clubs will face each other, and it may not be the last time they go head-to-head in 2012.
The road to Jackson might just have to go through Oxford or West Point in 5A ball.
After Friday night there is still one last district challenge for both of these clubs. West Point seems to have the advantage in the final week, taking on New Hope (3-6; 1-4) and Oxford will take on Clarksdale (4-5; 2-3).
Whether the district title is settled tomorrow night or next week, this home match against Oxford is important. It may very well be a post-season preview, and it will put the West Point offense to its toughest test thus far in district play.
The game will begin at 7 p.m.