Pumas ready to take on hardest challenge of season: state finals


Thomas Richardson

The Pumas prepare to take the field in the 6A state semifinal against top-seeded Mountain Pointe on Nov. 17, 2017.

For the first time in the school’s history, the football team is going to participate in the state finals. The Pumas are confident heading into their state game this Saturday against the defending champions, Chandler Wolves. The team has been working, and undoubtedly improving in the past months since last playing Chandler.

Coach Preston Jones said, “We are sticking with our fundamentals,” Jones continued, “and not trying to hit the homerun every play, and just let the offense run themselves.” The offense has been working harder than usual to improve their play, especially because Chandler is known to have an impeccably strong defense.

They are trying to get themselves into the right mindset to play in what will probably be the most challenging game of the season, and the road to where they are now, has not been a smooth one.  

Senior captain and offensive lineman, Zach Neff said, “we are more prepared now, than ever,” Neff continued, “Everyone has a mind set to try hard and no one is slacking, so I think we’re gonna come out and Chandler isn’t expecting us to be good.”

The boys are taking this game more seriously than any other and are taking necessary measures to improve themselves and the team before the final game.

Senior linebacker, Cutter Hatch said, “It’s all a battle, but we’re gonna keep it the same; hard practices, paying attention, and learning plays.” The seniors this year have been working towards this goal since freshman year, and this is their last opportunity to claim the state title.

As to how they’ve been preparing since last playing against Chandler, senior running back, Kenny Fultz said, “we’ve been learning new plays that we haven’t done before and practicing them.”

This is the most important game of the season and could potentially present the players with even more opportunities to play football for colleges.

Winning state would be an amazing accomplishment not only for the team itself, but for the entire Puma Nation and community that rallies around the school. The game will be one of the most compelling game of the season to spectate, and everyone should expect to see a battle of the fittest. And whoever wins, will certainly have earned it.