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Next Stop: The AlamodomePosted: Updated:
WESLACO – The plan has worked out for Weslaco coach Michael Salinas. In his first year with the Panthers, the team won just three games.
But a year later, Weslaco is up to 11 wins.
Saturday, they’ll face Lake Travis in the regional semifinals at the Alamodome.
“They just have to understand the things we have to do, the focus level we have to have in practice,” said Salinas. “We have to go out and play at a little bit of another level and make sure we’re locked in a little bit more. Play a little bit harder than we have to this point.”
“It’s exciting,” said senior defensive back Axel Camarena. “We’ve always wanted to compete against anybody. It’s a great chance to compete against one of the best in the state of Texas.”
Lake Travis has an impressive resume.
Three state final appearances the last three years and a host of talent to boot.
Junior quarterback Hudson Card has committed to the University of Texas. Senior wide receiver Garrett Wilson is headed to Ohio State.
How does Salinas hope to prepare his team for a talent level his team hasn’t faced this year?
“We’re going to approach it with the same mindset,” said Salinas. “It’s the most important for us because it’s the next one. We have an opportunity to play a really good Lake Travis team so our kids are excited and we’re going to do the best we can to fire out best shot on Saturday.”
Against United last week, Weslaco scored touchdowns in all three phases. Offense, defense, and special teams.
Te Panthers understand it’s going to take that kind of performance to match up against Lake Travis.
“Just trust in one another, believing that your teammates are going to do the next thing,” said junior running back Peyton Knaub. “Just grinding out first downs like coach said and putting more points up.”
Weslaco has won two playoff games for the first time in 11 years. The team knows just how special this year has been.
The Panthers hope to keep their special season rolling with an upset win Saturday.
“We have to eliminate penalties and play clean,” said Salinas. “They’re a very good defensive football team. They’re fundamentally sound and they’re going to make you earn everything.”
Saturday’s game is at 4:00 pm inside the Alamodome.