Football team prepares for playoff game against Pittsburg


Madison Glaser

The DHS football team runs onto the field before their game against Piper High School on Oct. 8.

Emma Klingler, Arts/Entertainment Editor

The De Soto High School football team is heading to the Regional title game against Pittsburg High School on Friday, Nov. 5. 

The Wildcats’ last game against Topeka West High School ended with a score of 50-26 with DHS taking the win. 

Although it was overall a very successful game, there were some aspects that could put the football team in a bad spot against Pittsburg if the team does not make adjustments.

“The communication within the secondary on defense [needs to be improved],” sophomore safety Davis Barr said.

Others think that the team’s overall support and celebrations should improve to provide a higher-energy environment. 

“I think we need to celebrate the small wins, whether it be a four or five-yard run,” senior offensive lineman Austin Mills said. “I think we need to celebrate those and be more enthusiastic about those short-term wins.”

With all the team’s hard work this season, they are in a good position to beat Pittsburg and take home the win this week.

“It’s only Wednesday, so I think we are moving in the right direction,” Mills said. “We’ve been watching film [from the other team] and are locked in at practice, so we will be prepared for whatever they throw at us. It will take everyone showing up and doing their job like we have prepared.”

The game is about a two-hour drive from De Soto, which will make it difficult for students to attend and support. There will be no pep bus either, which makes providing the DHS football team with a supportive environment even more challenging.

It is not a surprise that the environment of a game can often affect the overall morale of a team; however, Mills thinks that the energy will still be high in the stadium, and the team will be responsible for some of that.

“Even though our fans won’t be there, I think that since it is sort of a big game it will still be a good environment from what they [Pittsburg fans] provide,” Mills said. “The energy is not just generated from the crowd, but also from the team.”

At this point, a mistake-prone game could mean the end of the football team’s season. However, the team has reflected on what they have learned from the adversity faced and how these lessons can be applied to the playoff games.

“Nothing is guaranteed. As we saw for a lot of the guys with the COVID issues, everything is subject to change, so you have to work for what you earn,” Mills said.

Similarly, senior tight end Cooper Schwindt thinks that the flexibility that the team has had to display will be vital in the game against Pittsburg.

“We had a whole game canceled due to COVID, so we have had to be flexible,” Schwindt said. “If they [Pittsburg] score a touchdown and we get down, we’ll just have to work hard and keep going.”

The De Soto Wildcats football team will face the Pittsburg Dragons on Friday, Nov. 5 at Pittsburg High School at 7 p.m.