A trip to the 6A state finals awaits the winner of tonight’s boys soccer game between Dodge City High School and Olathe South High School.
Dodge City enters the game 17-2-0 overall this season, while Olathe South brings in a record of 16-2-1. The winner between the two will play the winner of the earlier semifinal game between Manhattan High School and Overland Park-Blue Valley West.
Red Demon head coach Saul Hernandez said the Red Demons will stick to their game plan.
“We watched film on them just to kind of get and idea (what Olathe would do) so it doesn’t get us by surprise, but in the scheme of things we’re gonna stick to our game plan,” Hernandez said. “We’re gonna do what we do best because it’s gotten us where we are now, and why change it now?”
Being one of the few remaining teams to survive into November has been a common practice for the Red Demons the last few seasons. Still, Hernandez said he still appreciates it.
“It’s been a blessing to be able to make it to final-four three year in a row,” Hernandez said. “It’s always fun. It’s so competitive. The atmosphere and the environment in those games are so different, and sometimes just thinking about those games it kind of gives me the goosebumps.”
Even more, Hernandez said it’s great to watch the players play.
“That’s what it’s all about, watching them play and compete and seeing them do what they love doing,” Hernandez said. “That’s what I enjoy the most about these games.”
And while the team’s seniors have experienced what the team is about to before, the team’s freshman haven’t. It’s something Hernandez said they’ll just have to go through to understand what it's like.
“The environment and the atmosphere in those games; you can’t really explain to them. You kind of have to be there,” Hernandez said.
It’ll be an atmosphere that even affected even Hernandez the first time he went to a state game during his first season at Dodge City, he said.
“I was a little overwhelmed as well, and it kind of took me by surprise,” Hernandez said. “They’re gonna see how the atmosphere is like, and that’s gonna be a factor if we return next year.”
Dodge City takes on Olathe South High School at 7 p.m. tonight in the Topeka-Hummer Sports Park in Topeka, Kansas.