Sherman, TX - "Nobody saw this coming," said Brennan Robinson, TCS junior.
The Texoma Christian School Eagles are headed to the TAPPS state tournament. But the road leading up to tomorrow's semi-final game was not a smooth one.
"Being a young team, there was a big learning curve. They started out a little slow, and as we have been getting further and further into the season, they have gotten better and better. They have learned from their mistakes," said Coach Nate Lagenbahn.
"We have matured so much this year. Seeing us mature through November and December, and up to January and districts has been something I have never seen before, " said Robinson.
"Bringing in so many guys off of junior varsity or eight grade, it was kind of crazy at first. We did not really jell. But as the season grew on, we got really close," said freshman, Blaise Bentsen.
"We have kind of become a big family, and I think that has gotten us here today," said Cody Park, TCS senior.
And today, this team is the first TCS boys team to make it to state since 2010-11. And they do not plan to stop until they win it all.
"We are just looking forward to having a title and hanging a banner up in our gym. Getting a state ring, with all my friends," Carson Crow said.
"I have always dreamed, since I was in middle school here, that I would get my name on a banner. And now, just making it to the tournament, I get my name on a banner. I am excited about being in the moment and just thriving. Hopefully, excelling and winning a state championship," said Robinson.
One element that has helped the Eagles soar this season, is standout freshman Blaise Bentsen.
"Blaise, just being a six-foot-four freshman, that is just amazing. You don't see that a lot. You just give him the ball, and you know, oh yeah, that is going in as he runs down the other side of the court," Park said.
"He can dribble the ball, and shoot from the three point line. Pass it down low, down low he is good. He is just an all around player, " said Crow.
"We expected something from Blaise, coming up and practicing when he was in middle school, just a little bit. Coming here and flourishing, in this program, at a varsity level, skipping JV, it is something I have never seen before. And it is only his freshman year, wait for next year, " said Robinson.
His teammates are happy to have him. Above all, Blaise is proud to do his part.
"I have just enjoyed it all. There have been some rough patches and a lot of growth I have had to experience. But, these last couple games have been really fun and I am ready to get to Friday. I would not want to go with a different group of guys," said Bentsen.
The team and their coaches know this is an extraordinary group. and they are ready to make a statement at state.
"I just think it is something really special. Fun is definitely our secret to success. We try to do it as much as we can."