ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Arkansas City high school football team finished the regular season with just two wins and six losses. They would head into the KSHSAA 4A playoffs on a two game losing streak.
Four weeks later, they will get to play in the state title game for the first time since 1986.
Head coach Jon Wiemers says he has a pretty close, tight knit squad this season.
“They are really close, its been contagious for the rest of our team, I think they see what a team should be like,” said Wiemers.
That brotherhood became the secret recipe to the Bulldogs unprecedented run through the 4A playoffs.
“We don’t have anything to lose, that’s been our attitude all year. we will stay consistent, run our program like we want to and get better every day,” said Wiemers. “I told them we aren’t going to do anything different, but there’s a different energy now.”
An energy that Wiemers says has been at practice for the past month.
“They just kept getting better and kept fighting and didn’t hang their heads, just think their resiliency and their toughness, the ability to battle through all of that stuff the year, it just seems like it didn’t phase this kids at all,” said Wiemers.
Last Friday’s game immediately became the buzz around Ark City. Down 27-14 midway through the third quarter, the Bulldogs rallied back to pull off an upset win, 28-27, over McPherson, in the first semifinal appearance since 1988.
An emotional win for David Beasley, whose son is on the team.
“I knew they won because my son called me crying in the locker room saying his grandpa would love to see this because his grandpa passed away,” said Beasley.
Two decades and a couple of generations later, the Bulldogs have a chance to rewrite history.
“My son, his uncle, his name was Jim George played in 88 when they went to the final game and lost, he just couldn’t believe it, he couldn’t believe it,” said Beasley.
Now, the Bulldogs will look to finish out the 2020 season on a high note, with a state championship.
“I’m just really really proud of them, I’m really proud that they’ve jumped on board with our family and what we are trying to do and these kids are bought in,” said Wiemers.
The Bulldogs will square off with St. James Academy at 1 p.m at Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson.