De Soto set to face Mill Valley in football playoff rematch


Alli Rozelle

De Soto High School senior running back Tyson Priddy avoids a Mill Valley defensive player during Wildcats loss to the Jaguars on Sept. 11.

Emma Hellerich, Staff Reporter

 One of De Soto High School’s biggest rivals is Mill Valley High School. Although both high schools are in the same district, the competition between the two schools has both teams cheering for their team to win.

On Friday, Nov. 12, DHS is playing against MVHS to see which school has a shot at bringing home the State title. During week two of the football season, MVHS got the better of DHS, but head coach Brian King stays optimistic about the game.

“You look at the rosters from week two it’s amazing how many changes we’ve made and moved people around. Some was due to injury and some was to find the right niche for people,” King said. 

Not only have the players been putting in their best effort, but the assistant coaches have done a great job on and off the field King says.

“Our coaching staff is one of the best coaching staffs in the state. I can not say enough about how important it is [to have a good coaching staff]. Since I’ve been here I’ve had Coach Thaemert and Coach Gastelum, my two coordinators, and all of my coaches have very important roles and do great things, but they have got our kids prepared.” King said. 

Jackson Nhotharack, a senior at DHS who plays outside linebacker, has been preparing for the upcoming game against Mill Valley.

“I have mentally prepared by watching film and physically prepared by showing up to practice and getting work done on the field,” Nhotharack said.

As the game approaches, Nhotharack keeps the biggest challenge of the game in mind.

“The toughest thing about the game will probably be having to stop the run. Their offensive line is really big and talented, and it’s going to be hard to be gap sound,” Nhotharack said.

Due to COVID-19, the number of fans that are allowed in the stands is limited. Last year, Mill Valley and De Soto played against each other for the first time in over a decade and Nhotharack thinks the atmosphere will be very different this year. 

“It will be way different without fans only because the atmosphere just isn’t the same without a roaring crowd like last year,” Nhotharack said.

While the fans won’t be packed in the stands, this isn’t keeping King from focusing on the goal to win. 

“Honestly what’s happening outside those yard lines I don’t really focus a whole lot on. I focus on what’s happening inside, but I do know we miss our fans and having all those student sections there and the crazy atmosphere. I miss it for our players and for our students to be able to participate in that as well, but I’m just glad to be playing,” King said.

As the tension grows, the football game is bringing fans to come and watch. The competition will be tough between the two teams.