FRONTENAC, Kan. – The Frontenac Raiders have a chance to earn a district championship on Friday night against Galena.
“It would mean the world to us,” says Frontenac senior LB Jack Lusker, “We didn’t do it last year, and we were all upset about that. We really want it this year.”
“It would be big for our kids. We know how hard they’ve worked all season,” says Frontenac head coach Mark Smith, “I’m going to tell them tonight after practice that these are the moments why you work hard. This is why you put all those extra hours in together and these are the games that you want to play in, the battles against great teams like Galena. It’s going to be a fun atmosphere on Friday night.”
Frontenac got off to a bit of a slow start this season.
The Raiders were 2-2 in their first four games, including a 14-12 loss to Colgan and a 35-0 home loss to Girard in week four.
That lopsided week four loss to Girard was the team’s last loss – and was a turning point in the season for Frontenac.
“After that Girard game we all kind of had our heads down and were just kind of disappointed with how we played that night,” Smith says, “We had a great week of practice that next week against Columbus and we tried to start a whole new season at 0-0. Since then, we’ve played with a lot of confidence. We’ve played more physically and we’ve played faster. The kids started to believe and they started playing together.”
“The week after that game, everybody really stepped up on offense, defense and special teams,” Lusker adds, “We just clicked. That’s really what happened.”
Since that Girard loss, Frontenac has won three straight against Columbus, Baxter Springs and Parsons. The Raiders head into Friday night with a 5-2 overall record, including a 3-0 mark against district opponents.
On the other side, Galena is also on a roll.
The Bulldogs have won four in a row to get to 5-2 overall. They’re also 3-0 in district play.
“We have to tackle well and we have to be physical up front,” Smith says on facing a physical Galena team, “It’s going to be very important to win first down and put them in passing situations if we can. They’re a very down-hill and run-oriented team right now. They have a three-headed monster in the backfield and they all run very hard. Coach Sarwinski has done a great job and they’re also playing their best ball right now. It’s really going to come down to the trenches like it always does, but our kids are excited for the challenge.”
Friday night’s game will kick off at 7 PM in Frontenac.
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