NEWTON, TX (KTRE) - The Newton Eagles stepped on to the practice field Monday with only one thing on their mind: the Canadian Wildcats.
For Newton to get their fifth state title and their second in a row they will have to beat the Wildcats that are also looking for their fifth state championship.
The Eagles survived a tough East Bernard team last Friday with 3A Offensive Player of the Year Darwin Barlow scoring in the final minute to give his team the 21-14 victory. Last year, Newton made a statement by beating Gunter, the defending state champions. This year they do not want Canadian to get the same ideas they had last year.
“The practice we did to get here, wasn’t easy but the hard work made us get successful," Junior defensive end James Sylvester said. “If it wasn’t hard then we wouldn’t be here right now.”
‘Here’ is just days away from the 2018 State Championships. Newton was expected to be here and after four straight blowouts to start the playoffs it was kind of surprising that the team struggled in the state semifinals.
“I think for us Friday was a wake up c;all,” Assistant Coach Jeff Parks said. “East Bernard was a very good defensive team and they gave our boys some problems.”
With no room for error the team is working on every detail of the game. Last year, they left AT&T Stadium in a happy mood and they want to do it again. To get to play at the home of the Dallas Cowboys as a high school kid is a dream. Now these Eagles get to do it a second time.
“It is amazing,” senior defensive end Christian Kellum said. “Hearing the loud crowd and all the music and everything going it really gets you pumped up. Ready to go and ready to win.”
The current Canadian have yet to play at the Stadium. The last time the Wildcats played in Arlington was in 2014 when they beat Mason.
“Oh it is going to be an advantage [for us],” senior lineman Caiden Walker said. “It is loud in there. They better get out there and practice with loud music.”
The players area ready and feel they have what it takes to bring home another title. Their coaches are just trying to keep the team focused.
“We just tell them to take care of themselves and to get it done,” Parks said.
The Newton Eagles will kickoff at 3 p.m. from AT&T Stadium against Canadian on Thursday for the 3A DII State Championship. Game information can be found here.