Bellevue faces "one of the best teams in Lakes history," according to Tyler...
Bellevue High School Team Page
BELLEVUE — Bellevue High School football coach Butch Goncharoff repeated three things while talking about Lakes. The second-ranked Lancers have a lot of talent. They have a lot of speed, and they're huge.
That's what the top-ranked Wolverines (11-0) face in the Class 3A quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood.
The Lancers (11-0) are "one of the best teams in Lakes history," said Tyler Hasty, Bellevue's senior quarterback and defensive back. "We're going to have to come together as one unit. We're not going to be able to fall apart. We've got to do the little things right."
Bellevue, ranked No. 13 in USA Today's Super 25, has won its last 17 playoff games and 23 straight overall. Coach Butch Goncharoff is 42-2 in the postseason.
But, as the Wolverines prepare for the Lancers, it's not the wins Goncharoff talks about. It's the lessons learned in defeat that have the most impact.
"Anybody can beat you in any game," Goncharoff said. "We've had that happen. The year we played Prosser (2005), we were all looking (ahead to) Ferndale. This little kid named Kellen Moore came up and just whipped us. You've got to respect the game and respect your opponent."
Lakes coach Dave Miller's team lost to the Wolverines in the first round in 2003 and the semifinals last year.
"We have great respect for Bellevue and the program they have established," said Miller. "It's business as usual for them. They look just as good as ever.
"We're working hard. We expect a great game. Our kids are excited about the opportunity and the challenge."
Discipline will be the difference if Bellevue is to take one step closer to its fourth consecutive state title and ninth in 11 years.
"The energy has picked up a lot," Hasty said. "People are getting a lot more focused up, knowing that this is one of the biggest games of the year. We can't do any of the little things wrong or it's going to impact us greatly."
As much as a win would mean for these programs, both coaches have tried to keep things in perspective. They want their players to enjoy the experience.
"You've got to enjoy the moment," Goncharoff said. "You've got to take a deep breath, compete and enjoy the moment."
Mason Kelley: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org