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West Catholic preparing for 7th straight semifinal appearance

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Coming off of three straight state championships, West Catholic has 18 consecutive playoff wins dating back to the 2012 state finals and the Falcons are focused on continuing to win.

"Yeah, there's pressure," said West Catholic wide receiver Sam Neville.  "But, we don't look at it like that.  We go week to week.  Can't get to Ford Field without winning our semifinal game and the same goes for every playoff game.  So, we look week to week, play to play, rather than the big state championship game."

"We do want to get there," added coach Joe Hyland.  "It is important to us and we compete and prepare to win, so it there that pressure?  Yeah, there is.  But, I don't think there's anyone in this community or this state or this world, for that matter, that puts more pressure on themselves than I put on myself.  So, I'm not worried about what other people think or what they have to say about what we're doing with our football program.  We believe in our approach and what we do."

And what have they been doing so well this year?  Their defense has continued to step up allowing seven or fewer points in eight out of their last nine games.

"Our defense has come a long ways this year since the beginning of the year and so far I think in the playoffs our starting 'D' has only let up seven points in the playoffs," said West Catholic safety David Fox.  "It speaks numbers for our coaches and our players to all come together and rally around each other and get better each game."

"As an offensive player it's really nice when our defense goes out there and gets a big stop," said Neville.  "It takes a lot of pressure off of us and consistently we've been getting turnovers and we get short fields, so it's easier to put up points when our defense is doing their jobs."

This week they're taking on Algonac in the semifinals and they know that every team in the playoffs has that hunger.

"They haven't had much success in the past, so right now a lot of spirits are high right now," said Fox.  "They're all fired up about the game and how far they've made it this year and they're not the biggest team we've seen, but they've got a lot of speed and they've got a lot of heart and they're gonna come at us every single play."

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