State Championship. Cowboys Stadium. The bright lights, the big stage, the culmination of a season of hard work. Last year the Stamford Bulldogs were just glad to be there. They went into the game against a Mason team that were mentally prepared and came out on top.
This year, the Bulldogs are the ones with their nose to the grindstone. In the week leading up to the big game they are undaunted and ready to finish the job.
“The atmosphere is incredible, of course your phone is about to blow up,” Coach Hutchinson told KTXS on Monday,” Coach Hutchinson told KTXS on Monday, “you go downtown, everybody’s in a good mood. Then you come to school and it seems like all of our kids have a smile on their face, their attitude is good. You can just feel the excitement in the air and now just the anticipation.”
Experience is something that is stressed around the Bulldog field house. Stamford lineman Jesse Sanchez expressed how a lack of experience hindered them a year ago.
“Last year, we all went there and just seeing the stadium for me for the first time, seeing how big it was. It was kind of an awe moment,” Sanchez explained, “just getting the experience and seeing that is something Mart hasn't seen yet.”
Whatever the venue, Stamford fans will be in full voice. Nose tackle and running back Christan Pachicano described what it’s like to take the field.
“Wherever we go the fans go. It doesn't matter how far it is the stadium will be packed. It makes you feel great, as soon as you come out of that tunnel, there's nowhere else you'd rather be than there.”
As for the feeling of winning a championship, Coach Hutchinson summed up his team’s mission and mind-set.
“I would really like to see what it feels like to just win it all. We've been so close in so many sports in the last few years. We've come up second and we are tired of being the bride's maid. We want to win it all. We've been knocking at the door. One of our mottoes this year has been to knock the door down so hopefully we can get that done this coming Thursday.”
In a rematch of the 2011 state semifinals, the Bulldogs will face Mart on Thursday, 4pm at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.