GRAPELAND, TX (KTRE) - The Grapeland Sandies' 2017 season did not end the way they wanted with an overtime loss in the State Semifinals. This year they want a second chance.
To achieve that goal, the team will need to first get by 3rd ranked Tenaha in the Regional semifinal. The two will take the court Friday night in Jewett at Leon High School.
"Coming into the year unranked after loosing so many starters, I don't think people expected to talk about the state tournament," Head Coach Cannon Earp said. "It is a credit to these guys hard work."
The team got a late start to the year. The entire team is part of the football team and had to start the season after the Sandies were eliminated from the playoffs.
The young leaders quickly stepped up and felt like there was unfinished business.
"Last year was a heart breaker and we just need to prove we deserve to be there," junior Tyrn Wiley said.
While a 2nd straight trip to state and a sixth overall is on the horizon, the team knows where their focus is.
"We are focused on Tenaha," junior Rick Frauenberger said.
The regional tournament is not easy to get through. Three of the four teams are ranked and LaPoyner is always a contender.
"Region III is always deep," Earp said. "Tenaha and Shelbyville are always deep. LaPoyner as well. Anyone who earns their trip to state is deserving."
Grapeland will take on Tenaha at 7:30 at Leon High School in Jewett.