GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Catholic Central is back in the state finals for the second straight year, but with far from the same team.
“We came in very inexperienced, very immature,” said Catholic Central head coach Todd Kolster. “Yes, (we) certainly have some talent, certainly have some pieces that have been there and played in that moment, but not the majority of our guys have played in that moment.”
It will be the Cougars’ fourth trip to the Ford Field finals in five years — a responsibility the younger players took to heart.
“So, just that progression throughout the year. These guys have needed to kind of find themselves and see what their good at,” Kolster said. “And these guys have done that and they’ve kind of found out who they are and what their strengths are and obviously, we’ve got to be able to put that all together on Saturday.”
Outside of an overtime win against South Christian, Catholic Catholic has dominated its opponents this season by an average score of more than 44 to 8.
“I know it’s very cliché but, we spend a lot of time on ourselves. We don’t spend a lot of time on necessarily opponents,” Kolster said. “We keep trying to get better at the fundamental skills, the little details, so that we can perform at the best of our ability.”
And they certainly have.
Over the last five years, Catholic Central is 61-4 under Kolster, and now just one more win away, from a fourth state championship in five seasons.
“No matter how many times you’ve gone or not gone, it’s still an eye-opening experience,”Kolster said. “So to be able to be in this position right now and to have this opportunity, especially as crazy as this has been, it’s really pretty special.”
Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.