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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

November 26, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Union thankful for Thanksgiving Day practice

Few people outside of the program expected the Union football team to be practicing on Thanksgiving last year.

After all, this was just a second-year school in Vancouver, and if you’re practicing on Turkey Day, it means you’re playing in the state semifinals.

But the young Titans indeed were headed to the Tacoma Dome to play Lakes of suburban Tacoma. And just being there wasn’t enough. They knocked off the Lancers to advance to the 3A championship game against Bellevue, ultimately losing 35-6.

If the team wasn’t practicing again this Thanksgiving, it would have been a huge letdown, coach Cale Piland said in an interview yesteday.

“As a second-year program (last year), no one expected us to be playing in the semfinals,” Piland said. “This year, with the number of guys we have back, we expected it. It’s been more of a business-like approach. They expected to be practicing on Thanksgiving this year. Anything short of that would have been a big disappointment.”

Fourth-ranked Union (11-1), which has lost only to Foothill, Ca., in the third game of the season, has eight starters back on offense and six on defense. The Titans are excited about tomorrow’s rematch with top-ranked Bellevue (8-2) back in the T-Dome at 7 p.m.

“We had hoped to get the opportunity,” quarterback Brandon Weller said. “We’ve got to play our best game.”

Asked for his thoughts on the Wolverines, Piland started with a simple, “Oh, boy.” He knows the task is tall.

“Bellevue is a program where you have to do virtually everything right to be able to beat them,” he said. “You have to play at a very high level. You’ve got to make them earn everything.”

The Titans hope to earn their way back to the championship game and take home the school’s first title.

“Our focus all year has been to win a state championship,” Weller said.

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