CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. (KCRG) - For the Washington Warriors, making the boys soccer state tournament was something three years in the making. The senior group made it as freshman but then failed to make it back the past two years. Now in their last chance, they are focused on bringing home a state title.
“The past two years haven’t gone the way we wanted them to and to be able to now win in the fashion we did going in the state tournament, seasons not over, were looking to win this thing.” said senior Brooks Papendick.
The talent has always been there but this year’s squad knew it had only one more chance to make a statement
“It wasn’t an option, we knew we had too, like it wasn’t a choice this year." said senior Keaton Woods.
“We have a good group of seniors and I think they just stepped up and took over some leadership of the team and had the feeling that we’re not going to lose it this year.” said head coach J.P. Graham.
Keaton Woods leads the Warriors with 19 goals, goals coming only because he chose to return to Wash in the second semester. The first half of the school year, Woods was playing for the Real Salt Lake Development Academy.
“It helped me get better because I had to push myself." Woods said. "Here sometimes I would get lackadaisical because I knew I was the best player on the field most of the time. There I wasn’t so I had to push myself to get better."
"Over the last few games, he’s been feeling pretty good and you can see the difference in his stride, his touches and everything. His mindset, it's all good.” said Graham.
Now that the Warriors believe they are playing their very best, the sky is the limit.
“Were not done, we got to go win state now, thats the only goal left. Taking second isn’t an option, we got to go win it." said Woods.