Sunset at HP This Friday

by Kirk Dooley

incontri europa Here’s a statistic you should ponder as the Scots prepare to host the Sunset Bison this Friday:
Five weeks ago HP defeated Bryan Adams 62-0. Two weeks later Bryan Adams defeated Sunset, 76-0.
Wow. You do the math.
The Scots, now ranked fourth in state, have three more district games – Sunset, Lancaster and Mansfield Timberview. Playing the state’s seventh-ranked team, Lancaster, seven days after facing Sunset is like speeding down the Tollway and throwing your car into reverse.
The Bison (which is singular and plural, by the way) have played four district games and lost to Samuell (32-0), Bryan Adams (76-0), Lancaster (73-0 and Timberview (84-0).
Conversely, the Scots have beaten Bryan Adams (62-0), Woodrow Wilson (66-0), Mansfield Legacy 76-6) and Samuell (56-6).
In every district there is statistically a best team and a worst team and at some point they play each other. For district 6-5A Div. I that game will be this Friday at Highlander Stadium.
The Highland Park coaches are trying to keep the Scots focused on improving every week but when the competition is not challenging, it’s hard to determine how you are progressing. On the other hand, your backups get to play a lot and that makes for a happy locker room. And a memorable Senior Night.
The Sunset players are coming off a 84-0 loss to the third best team in the district. What are these young men thinking? How do they show up for practice every day and keep their spirits up?
Here’s a true story about life as the Sunset head coach. Last year Coach Chris Castillo had 12 guys show up for the first day of practice. Instead of folding his hand he went out into the school and into students’ homes trying to convince guys to come play football. They could even bring a friend. Castillo was also the campus athletic coordinator. One morning at 3:00 a.m.he got a call from the tennis coach saying that he needed a heart procedure. Castillo became the tennis coach for the rest of the year. Then the softball coach had to report for duty by the Army Reserves right as the playoffs were about to begin. Castillo became the softball coach also.
This past summer Castillo stepped down after three years and a 3-27 record in football. Although his record wasn’t impressive, the way he related to his athletes was. The new coach, Armando Gutierrez, is continuing the fight to pull the Bison out of the bottom of the standings but it’ll take some time. I admire guys like Castillo and Gutierrez, like I admire the Highland Park coaches. They’re all working to help turn boys into young men.
I’m pulling for the Sunset players to be able to experience the joy of victory instead of living in the agony of defeat. Next week, of course.
In the meantime the Scots will face a very fast and very talented Lancaster team next Friday in a game that will give the HP coaches a real gauge on where their team stands. Then a tough match against Timberview will vault HP into the playoffs where Frisco Lone Star, Denton Ryan, Shadow Creek and their cousins will be lying in wait.