It is Friday night and the lights are on. The stadium is filling with fans, and the Green Hole is packed beyond capacity. These people are here all for one reason — to see the TO Lancers defeat Lompoc in the quarterfinals of CIF playoffs. The anticipation is very high — can they win, or will they win, and how far will this talented team go?
The Lancers have traditions, both personal and unified, when it comes to preparing for an upcoming game whether it is regular or post-season according to senior lineman Kyle Amott.
“We have team dinners and other pre-game events, so we can bond and encourage each other to stick together. We like to keep it the same throughout the season and stay strong, and always continue to bond together as a team,” Amott said.“I like to go over plays in my head and study the opponent more the night before to get mentally and physically strong.”
Even though the team still has their team dinners, things are more serious during playoffs.
“During playoffs, guys are more focused and dedicated. I also see we all share a common goal. I feel like guys work harder during playoffs,” Amott said.
Playoffs are also more challenging and trying for the team as whole because the passion and desire to win is even stronger. However, they have been working hard since the off-season to reach this point.
“The team in the off-season works really hard to keep our stamina strong, allow us to play a full season, and eventually go into playoffs, but there are some guys who are banged up and are fighting through it and are staying strong.” Amott said.
The team won on Nov. 20, defeating Lompoc 34—31 in a tight game to make it to the semifinals. However, the team felt confident going in, and did expect to win the game.
“We were expecting a win, and we worked hard. We expect nothing but a win, and it was great for the outcome that happened,” Amott said. “We feel good. It was a good win. That was a very good team we went out against, and now we face another team who runs the ball very well.” Amott continued.
This Friday, the Lancers are away but are not concerned that this will impact their performance. The team feels prepared to play against Arroyo Grande.
“Our upcoming team is kind of like Lompoc; they like to run the ball a lot, and they both have similar formats on defense,” Amott said.
Nobody knows what the future holds for the Lancers, but they are prepared to go all the way to the CIF championship game.
“We were expected to make it as far as we could into playoffs. We were very grateful to make it into the playoffs,” Amott said. “We want to go all the way, but we need to take it one game at a time.”