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Friday, June 14, 2024
The Observer

No. 2 Welsh Fam meets No. 7 Breen-Phillips Sunday

For Breen-Phillips, merely qualifying for postseason play is not good enough. The seventh-seeded Babes will look to shake up the playoff bracket this weekend when they take on the second-seeded Welsh Family Whirlwinds. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Sunday at the McGlinn Fields.Babes captain Jaimie Feltault is excited at the prospect of playing spoiler. "We're coming in as underdogs. It's a make or break situation," Feltault said. The Babes find their team slightly hobbled heading into the playoffs, losing several players to injury and finishing the regular season with two tough losses and a tie. "We've improved on some of our weaknesses," Feltault said. "We're going to have to keep our defense strong. A lot of our players are still improving, and we have some players back from injuries."Both the Babes and the Whirlwinds have found themselves in a similar situation before, as the teams have squared off in the playoffs several times over the past few seasons. "We've had a good rivalry with them the past few years," Feltault said. "We're looking to have this one end our way." In what could potentially be her final interhall football game, the senior Feltault is not ready to hang up the spikes just yet. No. 3 Walsh vs. No. 6 Pasquerilla WestIt'll be a devil of a rematch Sunday as the Wild Women and the Weasels square off in the opening round of the playoffs.Walsh and Pasquerilla West battled to a 6-6 tie early on in the season in a defensive struggle where both teams failed to convert on their extra points. But Weasels captain Abby Nerlinger is confident this game will be different."When we played them, it was our first game of season, and that makes a difference," the Weasel senior said. The Wild Women will be dealing with a different Pasquerilla West team this time around, as the Weasels have since found a quarterback in junior Heather Van Hoegarden."I'm confident our offense will be strong," Nerlinger said. " ... We have some of the best receivers in the league."Van Hoegarden's targets will include sophomore Maureen Spring and junior Brenna Mannion, both of whom are having good seasons at wide receiver.The Walsh offense will be led by freshman quarterback Mary Sullivan, and will certainly be looking to reach the end zone often."Scoring is always a key," Walsh captain Carrie Campbell said.Campbell is also confident her defense will set the tone early."Our defense is really good at gaining momentum, and our offense keeps up the energy," the senior Wild Woman said.Leading the Walsh defense will be senior cornerback Katie Hesmond. Hesmond and company have only allowed two teams to score on them all season, one of which was Pasquerilla West in the Wild Women's second game of the season. The Weasels defense has been impressive as well, thanks to strong play from their line and a superb season from senior linebacker Gina Lopresto.The Wild Women finished the season strong, winning their last four games after tying the first two, gaining the third seed in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Weasels have worked their way to a 3-1-2 record, leaving them with a six seed.No. 4 Pangborn vs. No. 5 LyonsPangborn has a game plan to continue its success this season.The Phoxes only tie has come from this weekend's opponent Lyons. Pangborn's inability to shutdown Lyons earlier this season has forced them to re-evaluate its strategy."We really need to contain Traci Kazmerski, their quarterback and captain. We've been watching their games, and we know her best receivers," Pangborn captain Katie Murray said, "We've been working on a defense to stop her, and we just need implement it."According to the Phoxes, Kazmerski is the loudest roar that the Lions can boast, but stopping her will be hard work. Pangborn has not forgotten about its only tie this season. Murrary believes her team's offense developed gradually throughout the season, but especially after the Lyons tie."Our offense was a little slow coming off, but it has built up very nicely," Murray said. "It started to turn around during the first Lyons game. I'd say that if the game had gone on we would have won."Despite what has happened in the past, the future of the seasons lies in Sunday's match up. Not only is Murray confident in the offensive attributes of her team, but the defense looks solid as well."I think our defense has been strong pretty much all season. Our tackling is dead-on most the time," Murray said.With the generally strong defense plus the changes implemented to contain Lyons quarterback, Pangborn should be all set. However, it doesn't stop there. Pangborn has weapons."Mary Davis, our receiver, has unbelievable hands, she can catch just about anything," Murray said, "Trish Conneely and Brynn Johnson are our key running-backs as well."With Davis going deep as well as Conneely and Johnson running the ball, Lyons should definitely feel threatened.No. 1 Cavanaugh vs. No. 8 BadinIn many occasions the first seed is expected to breeze through the first round, but this matchup between the undefeated Cavanaugh Chaos and the eighth seeded Badin Bullfrogs looks to be different. Neither team is taking this game lightly as there is a bit of a rivalry between them. Although this is their first meeting of the season, they have played in the playoffs the last few seasons. In the last meeting between these teams the Bullfrogs knocked the Chaos out of the semis.The Bullfrogs, led by captain Stephanie Heath, ended the season 3-3 and realize they are up for a challenge. They know it will be a tough game and realize that a key to stopping the Chaos is to somehow keep their solid receiving corps in check. They do not run a set defense every week but adjust to opponents' offenses. They are similarly adaptable on the offensive side of the ball.Despite missing a few key players for undisclosed reasons, Heath expects her squad to step up and give the clutch performance that a game of this magnitude against a team of this caliber requires.