Gulf Breeze coach Chris Nemith is hoping the second time's the charm for the Dolphins.
A year after traveling to play Wakulla in the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs, the Dolphins will once again make the trek to Crawfordville tonight to take on the No. 1-ranked War Eagles in the playoff opener.
The Dolphins dropped a 33-14 loss to the War Eagles last year in the playoffs. Wakulla eventually advanced to the Class 5A state title game against Miami Norland.
"We learned from the experience of last year," Nemith said. "We've made a few changes. Our itinerary is different. We will go to Leon High School in Tallahassee, make a stop there and do a little walkthrough.
"We'll have our pregame meal there, get taped up and dress there. We'll already be dressed and taped when we get to Crawfordville, so we'll be ready to get off the bus and start our pregame."
The change to the itinerary is just one of the things that has Nemith feeling better about this year's matchup.
Unlike last year, when the Dolphins went into that game pretty much blind to Wakulla's style, there's a lot more familiarity involved this time around.
"They look very similar to last year," Nemith said. "They have some young kids. It's really just different faces, but the same War Eagle football team.
"We're humble, but we're very confident that our kids are more business-like this year. Not to take anything away from last year's team, last year it was walking into the unknown and getting it established."
And the Dolphins also know that they can do the unthinkable. Earlier this year, Gulf Breeze traveled to Milton and beat a Panthers' team that went on to win the District 1-6A title.
"You look at our schedule and the people we've played, and we feel good about what we've done," Nemith said. "Going to Milton, into that environment -- which is very similar to Wakulla -- and playing as well as we did, shows we can do it.
"If we can recreate that situation this week, we can win. We have to stay steady and we have to be able to understand that if something's not working, we have to stay with it and let our kids work through it."