NPHS boy's soccer heads to state for the second straight year

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP)--- North Platte boy's soccer will be on the field in at Creighton University Wednesday taking on top seed Omaha Skutt Catholic in the first round of the boy's state tournament.

Head coach Danny Whitney said, "Right now I feel like finally we're playing the best soccer that we can, I've seen it all along in glimpses and luckily we kind of put it all together for 80 plus minutes on Saturday to get that win."

This is the first time in school history that bulldog boy's soccer has qualified for the state tournament back-to-back years, but it's not the only first they're trying to reach.

Senior defender Max Hayes said, 'I'm just really happy to just be back there and playing again because it's a really cool experience."

"It's been quite an amazing season. Like I was telling them, even though we had all the weird weather to start, we've got 20 games under our belt now, we've never done that as a program," said Whitney. "We were the 15 seed and took on the two seed in district final and were able to do that, and I think that's a first since they've gone to this format. You know we're on the verge of hopefully getting our first win at state as a program, one more win will tie our record for wins in a season, so it's kind of been a long process of getting to where we are right now."

Junior midfielder Derrek Ramos said, "I think we have a big chip on our shoulder to kind of break some school records because the school record right now is 13 wins and we're at 11, so as long as we do good in state, we have a chance to break a lot of records."

This team has beaten expectations and persevered for a chance to be Class B state champions.

Hayes said, "During our preseason because of the weather, we weren't able to get outside much so we were practicing outside and then we changed formations throughout the year, so it took a little bit of an adjustment period but I think right now, we definitely are our highest strength."

"It's been sort of coming along over the course of the season. We're a pretty young team, three seniors on the squad, several juniors, a bunch of sophomores and even some freshman that are contributing," said Whitney.

Ramos said, "I think that win against South Sioux City gave us confidence to go into this tournament, even though we're playing the number one seed, I think we'll do pretty good."

"With injuries and with kind of figuring out who fits best where, we've been slowly progressing all year to the point where Saturday was the first time really where I thought we were extremely committed, had belief in the system and each other," said Whitney.