Despite winning the Big Nine championship for the first time in 27 years last season, the Eastmont football team wasn’t favored by league coaches to repeat the accomplishment this fall.
But early on, it appears as though the Wildcats don’t care about that very much. They just worry about the things that they control. They’re embracing a team-first mentality this year, which they’re hoping will help to guide them through times of adversity.
They experienced some adversity Friday, losing a close game to Davis.
But Eastmont coach Doug McGill believes that he has a squad made up of quality people who know how carry themselves the right way, and they’re going to learn from this first loss.
“As far as stuff that we can improve on, there’s a ton of good stuff we can see and we can work on,” McGill told World reporter Jacob Palmer after the game. “Our kids are resilient. …The kids showed a lot of grit. That’s all I can take away after a first game that obviously stings.”
Ÿ Does Wenatchee’s season opening loss to Eisenhower on Friday mean that the Panthers aren’t the favorites to win the Big Nine title?
Not necessarily. After all, it’s just one game, and the Panthers have plenty of time to correct the mistakes that they made in a loss to what appears to be a good Eisenhower team.
And of course, Wenatchee will get a second chance at beating the Cadets later in the season.
But another big factor in the Panthers’ quest for a postseason berth (and the rest of the Big Nine teams’ quests, for that matter) is the fact that the league will send two teams to postseason play this season.
In 2012, the Big Nine qualified just one team for the 4A state tournament.
That means that every team’s odds of reaching the playoffs have doubled this season — last year, every team had a 20 percent chance (one in five), and this year they’ll have a 40-percent chance (two in five).
Wenatchee is still a talented team with a bright outlook for the season. One loss doesn’t change that fact. And this year, that one loss might not hurt the Panthers as much as last year, when every Big Nine game felt like a must-win for every team.
Ÿ Quincy might have lost its Friday rivalry contest to Ephrata, but the Jackrabbits received an incredible performance from new wide receiver Connor Trevino.
Trevino, who recently transferred to Quincy, was unstoppable Friday; he recorded 220 yards and two touchdowns on 11 catches.
“At his first practice, he picked up the offense right away,” Quincy coach Stephen Wallace said. “(Friday) looked like one of our practices. He’s a stud. He’s so athletic, and he’s got great body awareness.”
“That kid,” Ephrata coach Jay Mills said, “is going to be a monster. We had guys all over him, and he made a lot of great catches. He’s a great player, and he’s going to have a great season.”