As players enter Phil Danaher Field from the field house, they see a sign that says ‘playing 16 games is a full season’. A reference to playing in all 16 games required to win the state tournament, this has also become somewhat of an expectation in the Calallen community.
Just because it can seem expected, doesn’t mean this is an easy task for a group of teenage boys. Most of these kids have been playing football since elementary school and have grown up just itching for their chance at putting on the maroon and white, hoping that it will be their year that the Cats finally take the state title, one that has proved elusive, despite 12 appearances in the state semi-finals.
“This group has a great chemistry,” said head coach Phil Danaher. “We started out slow, but because of their dedication and hard work, we are here.”
There are only four teams left standing in Division 5A Region 2, an honor that is not lost on all the players and their coaches every time they take the field. In a year that many felt Calallen may face challenges due to losing key senior players, this team has overcome and become a cohesive force on both sides of the ball.
“We’re very happy especially with this young group, everyone is very excited,” said Danaher.
The Wildcats will travel to San Antonio Friday where they will face Ft. Bend-Marshall for the chance to play at AT&T Stadium in Dallas for the state championship.