If you have been paying attention to our football this season, then chances are you heard that Wilson has made it to CIF for the first time in quite a while.
What with the team having such a knockout performance so far this year, many people are wondering what the players are thinking.
Coming into the season Gabriel Cunanan (12) said he believed that the solid lineup of underclassmen means consistent wins throughout the season. Brandon Pena (12) felt the same saying “My expectations coming into this season was going all the way I felt like with this group we could accomplish that”
With what is probably the best record the team has amassed in a long time there are bound to be some changes within the team. Brandon said this year is different “because of everyone buying in. Without them believing we could do it, it wouldn’t be possible to do this.” Gabe seemed to agree with this statement saying that this year is different because of everyone pouring their heart into the game and will continue to do so play after play.
Having such a good record this season could be a double-edged sword, however. The matchmaking, from what I heard, is based on wins this season. Our team having a winning streak means they will most likely be going against better teams. So did they ever think they might be in over their heads?
Gabriel, taking little time to answer, said that they are prepared for anything, and no matter how hard it gets they will always find a way to come back and snag a win.
Brandon, almost as if speaking on behalf of the team, said “No, I feel like we never thought that. We took each game one at a time and only focused on that game. Each game is so important to us and to go from 1-9 to 9-1 feels amazing. We’re still on a mission though – job ain’t finished.”
But of course, none of this would be possible without the coach. Having gotten to CIF, I asked Coach Morales if he started putting the team on any form of special training to which he replied, “No. We didn’t do anything different. We continued to do what we’ve always done. We talked about improving every game. We don’t ever want to be a finished product. We always try to do better. We want the last game of the season to be our best game of the season.”
But what was the major factor in getting this far? Morales said the biggest factor was the buy-in from the team. The coaches also helped by committing to helping. They revamped their practice schedule in addition to practicing the basics. Practicing proper form, taking better angles, etcetera. The entire team committed, and they improved.
How tough is CIF, though? According to the coach, CIF is tough largely due to every team being good. The Wildcats are due to play against a league champion tonight, and who wins will come down to who has the best execution and the fewest mistakes, it will be a great game to see.
Did Morales ever expect to get to CIF this season? “I think it’s definitely a goal, a major goal. Even though we haven’t been in playoffs in a long time it was definitely a big-picture goal. I think everyone started to believe we could with every passing game in the season. I’m really proud of how everyone stepped up this year.”
But what about next year? How can our Wildcats expect to lay down support for next year to come back to CIF? Morales said the foundation for next year has already been laid, and that it was there even before this year. “More and more buy-in every year that has passed and this year was a big buy-in. Now it’s up to the next class of seniors that can carry the torch and senior leadership is really important and we have a lot of talent coming back. As long as we have numbers we’ll keep trying.”
The Wildcats have prepared themselves for the coming games and are ready to take on the world!