Charlotte varsity football coach Jeff Finney couldn’t have been more pleased when the playoff pairings were announced last Sunday night. His Orioles drew the district’s top seed and get to host rival Eaton Rapids, which handed a depleted Charlotte team one of its two losses on the season.

“Our team was extremely excited to draw Eaton Rapids in the first round,” Finney said.

The team will look to avenge a 17-12 in Eaton Rapids from September. The Orioles played the game without several key players, who were out due to injury. Finney said his team is confident heading into the game and he is not worried about the team being too emotional.

“Our kids have done a great job so far this week bottling their emotions,” Finney said. “They understand that when the time comes they need to amp it up.”

The Orioles were scheduled to host Eaton Rapids on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. Charlotte Public Schools planned a community pep rally and tailgate before the game, beginning at 4 p.m. in the Charlotte High School gym.

“One of my main goals as a first year head coach was to get the community excited about coming to a game on Friday night,” Finney said. “Last week we had 70 students take a spectator bus to Adrian to help support us.  That was awesome.  It’s fun to win in front of big crowds and our kids have fed off it all year.”

As for the game, Finney said having a healthy team this time around will be a major plus.

“We need to execute better in the red zone and be able to finish drives,” he said. “We have made a couple changes in how we will get the play in to the team that will help us as well.  We know that if we come out and are the more physical team, we will be fine.”