Friday's first-round, Class 6A state playoff game against McGill-Toolen is evidence of the Enterprise football team's efforts throughout the season.
"I think any time you can get your team into the playoffs it's a reward for a lot of hard work and a lot of effort these guys have been putting in since January," Enterprise coach David Faulkner said. "I think it's always a reward."
Aside from the reward of postseason play, the playoffs will provide Faulkner and the Wildcats with other benefits as well.
"It's extra practice time for your young guys so in the long run they get more practices," he said. "It helps you build your program, and helps you to continue to improve and get better each and every week. The big thing is we're one of 64 teams that have an opportunity to play for a state championship."
Championships are the goal of the Enterprise program, and making the playoffs is the first step.
"Obviously you've got to get into the playoffs to win state championships," Faulkner said. "Our goal here is to build a championship program. That's what we come to work for every day — to compete, to get better and try to be the best football team in the state of Alabama. This week we get an opportunity to throw our hat in the ring to do that."
The Wildcats will face an undefeated McGill team Friday, which is coming off of a 51-0 win in its regular season finale.
"When you look at McGill, you don't see a (really) flashy football team," Faulkner said. "You see a well-coached, very disciplined football team that plays very hard every snap. I think that has really been the key to their success."
Another factor in the Yellow Jackets' success is their offense, which Faulkner said has weapons in several areas.
"They do a great job up front," he said. "They have an offensive lineman, (James Louden who's) a very good player, a very physical player. Their running backs (are) not fancy. They just get their shoulders square to the line of scrimmage, get behind the pads and run downhill."
McGill's quarterback, Jason Smith, leads the offense and makes plays.
"Generally in high school football, people are going to put their best athlete at that spot," Faulkner said. "We've definitely seen that this year, with the emergence of spread offenses, these athletic quarterbacks (who) are able to run and throw."
Enterprise has faced many quality quarterbacks this year, and Faulkner has seen the defense adapt to situations.
"Once you have to defend a dual-threat quarterback, it really is a challenge for you defensively trying to get enough people around the ball to tackle the ball carrier and also account for the quarterback in the run and the throw game," he said. "It can give you some problems numbers wise, but we've done that a lot this year. I think we've got a good plan. We've just got to go out and execute."
McGill also boast athletes on its defense, which plays well as a unit.
"They play great team defense," Faulkner said. "You look at them and they do have some talented guys in the secondary with the corner, Philbert Martial, and one of the safeties, (Jalen Square). They present some problems with their athleticism, but overall the most impressive thing about them is they play very disciplined team defense."
Enterprise travels to Mobile to play McGill-Toolen at 7 p.m., Friday.
The Yellow Jackets are 10-0 this season, but Faulkner said the Wildcats aren't concentrating on McGill's success.
"McGill-Toolen has a very good football team, and they've been consistent," he said. "I think it's notoriety well-deserved, but then again, really, the only thing that matters is what happens between those white lines on Friday night. What's happened in the past, the past 10 weeks or the past 10 years, none of that's really going to matter. It's going to be about Enterprise vs. McGill Friday night, and how well we play to determine the outcome."