ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) — The high school football playoffs begin Friday, and for the first time in a decade, the Folsom Bulldogs are not the team to beat.
That distinction goes to the Rocklin Thunder.
Since the middle of August, the Thunder have shown everyone one of their opponents they mean business.
“I think people are starting to realize that, you know, Rocklin has the dudes that are going to go all the way,” wide receiver and defense back Nathan Kent said.
Though they have a 10-0 record, the No. 1 seed in Division 1 and a bye week, Rocklin is also cautious — for good reason.
“I think we’ve always been the team to beat. I’m not going to discount anybody else out there because we’ve always been the underdog and that’s how we feel going into things,” Kent told FOX40.
“The bye week can be kind of a curse, to be honest with you. Teams can get too comfortable,” wide receiver and cornerback Elias Mullican said.
“The last time we were 1 seed we lost in the first round. So, I don’t like time off. This time of year, I like to play,” Rocklin coach Jason Adams said. “We’re not too physical in practice so missing an opportunity to play this Friday night is not the best thing for us.”
Rocklin doesn’t have a choice in the matter. They will have to continue to work and prepare for the winner of this week’s matchup between Sheldon and Turlock. The Thunder will take on the winner Nov. 12.
FOX40 asked players when they felt like they became the team to beat.
“As soon as we beat Folsom,” Mullican answered. “It hadn’t been don’t in 11 years, so I mean, someone had to do it.”
Rocklin’s wins are not by chance. They take the game of football very seriously and continue to put in the work on all phases of the game.
“You know, it’s not just out here on the field, it’s in the classroom and in the weight room, so I think those have come to combine a really good atmosphere … And I think that’s what has helped this program become as successful as it is,” Kent said.
“I like this group, and I’m glad we get more games to go out and do something special,” Adams said.
FOX40 will have the playoff edition of Final Quarter high school football Friday night at 10:30, with Mark Demsky, Jim Crandell, Kristina Werner and Eric Rucker.