His teams won a pair of 5A Alabama football championships in 1986 and 1991 at Gadsden High and the 1A AISA (Alabama Independent Schools Association) State Championship in 2010 at Coosa Valley Academy in Harpersville, Ala.
However, since DiLorenzo has been the coach of the Wildcats, he has not experienced a winning record, and has learned to appreciate the victories.
The experience may have brought some perspective to DiLorenzo, who has been coaching for over 30 years.
“One time, I was accused of not smelling the roses. If we didn’t shut people out, if we didn’t score a bunch of points, I wasn’t happy,” DiLorenzo said Friday night after his team’s 28-23 win over Hiram. “Somebody told me, ‘You just need to enjoy things. Don’t be such a perfectionist. You can enjoy victories because a bad victory is a whole lot better than a good loss.’”
Even though Woodland currently sits at 3-6 and is out of contention for a playoff spot, there have been plenty of moments to enjoy this season.
The Wildcats have transformed from a pass reliant offense that failed to score a touchdown in their first six games to a run-first team that has steadily churned out yards and points while relying on a stout defense. The have reeled off three consecutive victories and will look for their fourth Friday at home against Rome.
LUCKY NO. 3: For the third straight year, the Adairsville Tigers are headed to the Georgia High School Association state football playoffs, and for the second time in three years, they are the third seed in their region.
Two years ago, Adairsville reached the second round of the Class AA playoffs as Region 7’s 2-seed, upsetting Banks County on the road before losing to Fitzgerald in another game away from home.
Last season the Tigers finished second in Region 5-AAA, behind Cartersville, but lost in Class AAA’s first round in a home playoff game against Hart County.
STRINGING IT TOGETHER: In its 39-8 win over Sonoraville Friday, Adairsville was the beneficiary of a short field on numerous occasions as punt returns and even turnovers gave the Tigers’ offense great scoring opportunities.
In the upcoming week, Adairsville plans to work on capitalizing on those drives that require even more field coverage.
“That starts with the word consistency, and that’s what we’ve been talking about for a couple of weeks,” coach Eric Bishop said. “We’ve gotta string [together] long drives — eight-, nine-, 10-, 11-, 12-play drives — and have consistent play on those kind of drives and not just against a short field. That’s what we’ll focus on this week, having consistent line and quarterback and running back play on extended drives. That’s what it’s gonna take in the playoffs and that’s what we’ll be focusing on …”
ANTICIPATION — The dust had hardly even settled on Cartersville’s 53-9 defeat of Sonoraville on Friday night when head coach Frank Barden indicated the Canes were already beginning to focus on their next game, which will determine the region pecking order in the state playoffs.
That game will bring together Cartersville and Ringgold, who currently are tied for Region 5-AAA’s No. 1 seed with 6-0 records. Cartersville is 9-0 overall with a chance to knit together a rare two perfect regular-season records, and the Tigers have a sparkling 8-1 record whose only blemish is a 19-15 loss to Central, Carroll.
Barden signaled the Tigers would soon receive the Canes’ undivided attention but are already on his radar.
“We’ll enjoy this one tonight and come in [Saturday] and start watching film,” he said Friday night in post-game remarks. “They are a good football team and have 18 starters back and they are very well coached. It’s going to be huge challenge for our football team.”
The Canes will approach the contest the same as it has all season, with a plan and a lot of preparation.
“You need a good Monday through Thursday,” Barden said. “You need to go to work and come out next Friday and be ready to play.”
—The Daily Tribune News staffers Jason Greenberg, Chike Nwakamma and David Royal contributed to this report.