Wildcats inch closer to playoffs


Isabella Canizares

Wildcats line up against Cypress during the Oct. 6 match-up.

At 6-0, the varsity football team felt like nothing could stop them until an Oct. 13 loss to Plantation stopped them in their cleats with a score of 34-28.

“They [the Plantation Colonels] came out like they were playing in the Superbowl and we came out like we knew we were going to blow them out. The loss kind of brought us back down to earth because we were feeling unstoppable. So sometimes losing is good,” senior wide receiver Dannie Sanders said.

The Wildcats rebounded from the loss on Oct. 19 with a 30-7 defeat over South Plantation on their home field. Despite the score The game was predicted to be close by most fans.

“South Plant was a pretty good team last year. I definitely didn’t think it would be a blowout,” senior Brett Forsythe said.

South Plantation couldn’t get past the defense with senior Jakai Linwood getting tackles every play. The final score reflected the domination present earlier in the season.  

Despite the setback in the Plantation loss, Sanders attributes the team’s overall season success to the coaches.

“From the practices to the weight room to watching film, it has been intense and I don’t think the coaches get enough credit because they keep us in line and on track,” Sanders said.  

Senior Charlie Dale echoes Sanders’ thoughts.  

“If it wasn’t for them [the coaches], I don’t know where we would be, honestly,” Dale said. “We need to work on several things. Communication is key with everything, and this is one thing I feel we should work on. No team is perfect and everyone can always improve,” he said.

Having coaches believe in them only boosts the team’s confidence.

“We have a good group of guys and as you can tell, we are not messing around this year,” head coach Adam Ratkevich said. “I have watched these boys grow into men and they have all made me proud.”

The Wildcats are pushing themselves nonstop to make it to the playoffs; that is their goal. Currently at 7-1, it is looking very possible for them to win districts. Quarterback Harrison Story said he sees the Wildcats in the playoffs with their current record.

“I know what this team is capable of and if we continue to play at the level we are now, I know we can make it to the next level,” Story said.

Prior to the Oct. 6 Cypress game, everyone on the team was locked in and ready to play. Ahead of the rivalry match, senior Andy Rodriguez expressed confidence: “We are prepared for this game and are looking to keep the undefeated record alive. We know we can do it; we just have to produce,” he said before the game.

According to senior lineman Christian Mauffet, the Cypress game plan was to “go on the field and handle business.” The Wildcats defeated Cypress with a score of 48-7.

Senior Jordan Henderson, who attended the game against Cypress Bay, noticed a different atmosphere the night of the game.  

“The game had a very surreal environment. It felt like all of Western was there and [there] was a lot of energy, from that kid streaking across the field [a fan who ran shirtless across the field] to the crowd every time a touchdown was scored,” Henderson said.

Dethroning Cypress from previously beating the Wildcats last year raised the stakes for players and fans alike.

“The principle of beating Cypress and adding a win to our record meant a lot to everyone on the team. Not much I can really say about it; we all played our role and ran through them,” senior wide receiver Blake Scott said.

The Wildcats have more tough games in their future such as the team they beat for the first time in 4 years last year: Miramar. The Oct. 27 contest is the BCAA game of the week.

Senior slot receiver Andy Rodriguez said they aren’t underestimating this match-up.

“Miramar has a lot of good players and an offensive lineman who is like 6’6” [and] 300 pounds. We know what we have to do though,” Rodriguez said.