By Valerie Carrizales | Photo by JayJay Gonzalez
After nine games and a rocky start, it’s finally playoff time.
For two San Antonio high schools, Madison and Judson, it’s time they meet again. This isn’t just a preseason game nor a district game, it is the first round of playoffs. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. they will be facing off head to head at Rutlege Stadium.
“Playoffs is not nerve-racking, it’s exciting, definitely exciting,” head coach, Jim Streety said.
This is Streety’s 25th time going to playoffs, and although he has never won state, he’s made it to semifinals five times.
Most people would think because it is playoff time that the boys would be practicing more often and longer periods. However, that is not the case.
“We cut back, do more team drills, and keep their legs fresh,” said Coach Glenn Mangold, the offensive coach.
The 2010-2011 football season for Madison was almost like this year’s. There were struggles, obstacles, and fear of not making it.
However, when it was time for the first round of playoffs, the Mavericks lost to this year’s 14th ranked Texas team, Judson High School.
Nerves, tension, and fear build up once again as the first playoff game creeps up; and again against Judson.
Junior, Marquis Warford, starting on both offense and defense as running back and cornerback, has made a big impact on the team this year.
“It’s not the same mentality towards Judson because the first time we played them before district,” Warford said. “It was just a game then, now it’s playoffs and this will let other teams know we aren’t messing around.”
Coaches say they adjusted their strategy a little bit, as well.
“Both teams will have something new but we will be prepared for stuff we do know about them,” said Coach Greg Porter, head coach for defense. “We have to throw some ‘wrinkles’ in, we have to have new stuff if we want to win.”
Although players and coaches are nervous and excited for the first game, if it weren’t for the parents that go to each game, sit in the cold and hot weather, and scream their heads off, the team and the support they have wouldn’t be the same.
“I have dreamt of this day when I get to watch my boy playing on that field, having the time of his life,” said Torrie Warford, mother of Marquis. “Win or lose it will always be the love of the sport that keeps them at it.”
The players really rely on parents’ support.
“Parents’ support helps because we wouldn’t want to play if it’s quiet,” fullback, Jalen Privott said. “They help with all games but even more so for playoffs; it’s a game that really counts.”
Whether its pre-season, district, or playoffs, parents are really the ultimate support.
“Having parents at the games makes a difference for the guys,” said Coach William McCluskey, co-defense coach. “Knowing mom and dad are in the stands it makes the kids play with more confidence.”
Many years come and go but when it’s time for football it is no joke. The Friday night lights, the screaming fans, and stomping on the stands all makes a game a game.
“It’s a good feeling since we have an opportunity to go far,” said Marquis Warford.