How Albany turned its season around from 0-5 to state semis


The Albany Lions didn't have the start to their season that they are accustomed to.

The dominant Class 2A district champions started out their season losing all five of their non-district games, a start that would cripple most teams.

After their last non-district loss, senior lineman Kade Everitt knew that even with those early losses the start of district meant a new opportunity.

"The bus ride home we kind of said, "Put it all behind us and get ready for district." Because the first five games mattered but not in the way towards a district championship or a playoff spot," said Everitt.

Head Coach Denney Faith wasn't losing any hope either.

"We'd been telling them all year, just hang in there, keep believing. We knew we had a good football team we just had to get people in the right spot and get everybody healthy, get everybody going in the right direction," said Faith.

After their first district win against Baird, the momentum started rolling.

"I think probably the first game of district we were more enthusiastic. We had a lot of fun playing that game 'cause we were winning," said Everitt.

As the season carried on the wins kept coming. They haven't lost a game since that first district match-up.

Sitting at 9-5 and heading into the state semi-final game, Albany will rely on the tough times that made this team stronger.

"We've become a lot closer as a team. Us five seniors have been trying to keep the spirits up through those first five games and as it's coming down to the end we've grown closer. We've created a bond that will last us a lifetime," said Everitt.

The Lions will play the Gruver Greyhounds on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Plainview High School in the Class 2A Division II semifinals.

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