BISMARCK, N.D. - Now that the West Region soccer regular season and tournament is over, the Patriots' next challenge is game number one of the state tournament later this week.
The Century Boys Soccer Team managed to fly through the West without a loss in the conference, and while they made it look easy at times, the Patriots are preparing for their big game: the quarterfinals on Thursday.
"Yeah the preparation for us is keep it sharp, keep it clean and keep it competitive in practice. So the more things we can do to keep that competitive atmosphere, to keep them geared and switched on for state so, kind of a three day prep, we like to call it. A six-day season for us. So we get six days - three training days and three game days - to get ready for state. So for Red River, we're just going to come out with high energy, trying to get on them fast so we can start going deep on the bench," says Nate Ulness, Patriots' Head Coach.
And the best way for the Patriots to prepare for game one against Red River, is a quick pace in practice.
"Well right now we're playing competitive switch-outs for before [the game], and we're trying to raise the competitive level just to mentally prepare and try to go in hard at state," says Sam Erickson, senior midfielder.
"I'd say just effort. Just working as hard as you can, and we have to play quick,” adds David Glatt, junior midfielder.
And when it is time to hit the field for state, the Patriots are worried about one game at a time.
"I think our number one enemy from the get-go is going to be Red River. They've kind of had our number the last couple years, so getting over that first hump, then whoever we have in the second game between West Fargo and Bismarck High, that's enemy number two. Ten whoever we play on Saturday, hopefully at 3 p.m., that's enemy number three. So, we're taking this one game at a time, we're not looking ahead until we get there," says Ulness.
The state tournament is at Fargo Shanley. On day one Minot will play Fargo Shanley to kick-start the tournament, with Jamestown facing Fargo South in the second game. Century is in game three at 4:30 p.m. Central Time, and Bismarck High will take on West Fargo in the final game of the day.