You practice like the pros, you play like the pros. Right? That may not exactly be the thought process of the Eastside Catholic coaches, but it sure can’t hurt.
The Crusaders practiced at the VMAC on Tuesday night, the practice facility in Renton used by the Seattle Seahawks. Eastside Catholic is practicing for the 3A state title game against Bellevue, which takes place Friday at the Tacoma Dome. The team practiced at the VMAC the week of the championship game, as well.
Head coach Jeremy Thielbahr said he wanted to give the players a special opportunity that they could look back on fondly.
“Football at Eastside Catholic is not just about winning, it’s really about experience. I remember special events in my high school life and I’ll never forget them for the rest of my life. I love the experience of football and bringing these guys out to the Seahawk indoor is something that they love to do and something the kids will remember forever. We love coming out here and the Seahawks are gracious enough to open for [us].”
“That was a great experience, practicing where all the NFL players [do],” sophomore linebacker/running back Brandon Wellington said. “Most of all of our dreams is to be in here one day.”
Eastside Catholic had a busy day of practice as it prepared to face the five-time defending state champions. Most people look at Bellevue as the heavy favorites, but that doesn’t include any of the Crusaders.
“I think we’re pretty good, too,” Thielbahr said. “I think it’s going to be a fun game, I think we got to stop the run, we got to tackle, we got to take it away, we got to hold on to it, we got to make some plays — so do they. It’s high school football.”