The Albany Lions are a little over 24 hours from their State Semifinal game with Gruver. Most didn’t see Albany getting this far, but here they are. 

It’s not how you start but how you finish and for the Albany Lions, that’s the statement they have for the 2018 season. After opening the year 0-5, here they are as the only team in the Big Country eyeing a state championship. This week, they take on Gruver in the State Semifinals. After I talked to the players, they told me about the confidence they still had even after that 0-5 start.

Head Coach Denney Faith, “Even at that point in the season, even when things weren’t going good for us at that point, we stayed positive about what was going to happen and I think those first five games had a lot to do with how we changed. At the time, it wasn’t pleasant, but now you look back on it and it could have been a positive for us.”

Cameron Dacus said, “There was a lot of doubt going in 0-5, it was very frustrating. Our coaches kept telling us just stick with it, keep going, we’re a good football team, we’ll get there, and I did believe we would get somewhere and sitting here at the State Semifinals is a really good feeling.”

Ryan Hill said, “We like the criticism and the doubt but we did get some guys back from injuries. Also, we learned more about each other, our strengths and weaknesses, trust one another on the field, being able to rely on someone to make a big play when it’s needed.”

The Lions will look to accomplish their mission this year while finishing strong with a championship but first they have to get there. They have to beat Gruver this week in the State Semifinals. If there is any indication as to what the Lions have been able to make it through this year, I think it’s safe to say that they are ready to take on Gruver. 

The State Semifinals are tomorrow night in Plainview. It’s gonna be nice and cold. The temperature is going to be around 35 degrees with 25 mile an hour north winds.