Going into last Friday’s Kickoff Classic at home against Baldwin, Baker High coach Ryan Sulkowski and his staff had a lot of evaluating to do. There were starters to decide, substitutes to pencil in. But after the loss at the hands of the Indians there were more questions than answers.
The Wildcats were surprised in a lot of ways on Friday. For the first half the running game sputtered, with penalties galore. Receivers dropped sure catches. The kicking game still needs a lot of work. The vaunted defense had trouble stopping the elusive Indian quarterback. In short, it looked like the pre-season game it was. There will be a lot of work this week before the Cats travel to Columbia High on Friday to take on the Tigers.
If there was a positive to take from the loss, it’s that Baldwin, a 1A team, came to play against an opponent a couple of classifications higher. The Cats go into Friday against a team a couple of classifications higher, too.
Both teams will be telling their players this simple truth – this was not a “real” game. It was a pre-season game meant to point out glaring holes, positive play and things that can be changed before the season officially starts. It will make one team more confidant going into their season opener and the other more determined.
Baldwin fans had “traveled” and the atmosphere was electric. The field looked pristine and the new Wildcat tunnel added an exciting start to the player introductions.