Jan 12, 2021
09 Dec, 2022
Preparing to make their return to the semifinals, the Gunter Tigers are geared up and ready to pull out all of their secret weapons in order to continue their streak of excellence this season. The team will take on Canadian on Friday with full intentions of punching their ticket to the state title game. So, what can fans expect out of this semifinal match-up?
Gunter Tigers (14-0, 5-0)
After winning the state title in 2019, Gunter has been working towards getting another title. This season, the team opened strong with victories over Nike Dallas FC (forfeit), Cedar Hill Trinity Leadership (67-6), Trinity Christian Academy - Addison (41-0), Brock (21-16) who is already headed to the UIL 3A State Title game, and Gladewater (59-7) through non-district play. In district play, the Tigers posted big victories over the likes of Lone Oak, Leonard, Howe, Bells, and more to finish at the top of their district standings with an unblemished record. This season, the Tigers have blanked four different opponents and caused two different opponents to forfeit their games. The team has outscored their opponents so far this season by nearly 500 points this season.
Led by the likes of Nick Bullard, Zach Boland, Ashton Bennett, Nathan Nelson, Ethan Sloan, Mason Peacock, Landon Waligura, Collier Stovall, Trey Walton, and more, the Tigers have already ended the seasons of Jacksboro, Palmer, and Holliday in playoffs so far. The team has allowed only 20 points in postseason play and will look to use their strong defense as a force on the field on Friday night.
Canadian Wildcats (12-2, 5-0)
With an up and down record in preseason play, the Canadian Wildcats used every moment to sharpen their abilities, learn from difficult matchups, and prepare for the rest of their season. Their only two losses this season came in preseason play against Bushland (47-21) and a hard-fought 37-36 game that ended in overtime against Oklahoma's Elk City. Through district play, the team posted victories against Childress, Friona, Spearman, and more to finish at the top of their district standings with an undefeated district record.
Led by Cameron Cavalier, Preston Miller, Kaden Crooks, Trace Mitchell, Jaxtyn Valenzuela, and more, the Wildcats have been a force on the field in postseason play. The team has outscored their postseason opponents 220-46 while eliminating Lubbock Roosevelt, Early, Spearman, and Wall.
What To Expect:
Fans can expect to see Gunter set the tone early in the game. The Tigers are as prepared as ever to continue their streak of excellence- especially this far into the playoffs. Canadian is going to put up an incredible fight as well. This game could very well be one that keeps you guessing until the final whistle. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. at Abilene Wildcat Stadium.
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Following an exceptional season last in which the girls won TAPPS State, the Legacy Prep Swim Team doesn’t plan on slowing down.
“My expectations for this season are the same as last year,” said coach Billy Gerwick. “I think we want to win a State title. I think I have the team coming back fairly strong, if not stronger. We have the capability if we put our minds to it, to win another State Championship.”
Standouts for the Lions on the Girls’ side include Janey Leiker, Serenity Stepanik and Emily Tomlinson, who are expected to keep the team in title contention. While the boys are young, having talents like Gage Gerwick, Malcolm Kerr and Rowan Stepanik will keep them in the State conversation.
Swimming can be an incredibly demanding sport that requires both mental and physical stamina in order to succeed, which is a fact that this Legacy Prep Swim Team will take to heart if they intend to go back to State.
“A lot of times, you’re in the water alone,” Gerwick said. “You have to have discipline and that inner soul to reach the expectations of what you want from yourself. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication, but the rewards pay off.”
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