Douglas High’s Nathan Stevens (86) comes down with a catch on a 2-point conversion against Reed High on Thursday. Stevens and the Tigers jump into Class 5A Division III league play this Friday against Galena.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
No one can take away the 4-1 record from Douglas’ first five games of the season.
However, that won’t impact the team’s postseason chances.
The final five games of the season – all Class 5A Division III league games – will determine who gets the best seed for the postseason and who will be promoted up a division next fall.
Douglas’ attention turns to Galena, who could be one of the better teams in the league based off recent results.
The Grizzlies biggest asset might be their defensive front seven where they have racked up 16 sacks in five games.
Fighting at full strength
Douglas will be at full strength this week as no one who saw the field against Reed is expected to miss any playing time.
That may not be the same for Galena, which could be missing quarterback Colson Kermode and 3-star lineman Tyler Miller.
Douglas High coach Kyle Mays says Douglas will prep for Kermode, but they’re not anticipating seeing Miller.
If it’s not Kermode under center, it will be senior Drey Watson.
“We’re preparing that Kermode is going to be there and if he’s not we will have adjustments in place,” said Mays.
After battling with Reed for four quarters, Mays said he doesn’t have a lot of concern about his team’s ability to get through anyone’s linemen.
He also added the transitive property doesn’t cut it when assessing the Grizzlies as both teams have faced Damonte Ranch this season.
Douglas beat the Mustangs, 27-7, while Galena fell, 32-7.
“You don’t want to risk having your guard down. We just prepare for the best,” said Mays.
Excelling in space
As exciting as the Tigers’ start has been, individuals continue to stand out and impress the Douglas coach.
The first name on his mind this week was linebacker Aaron Tekansik, who has continued to impress in the middle of the field.
At corner, Austin Dekruyf and Zach Westbrook continue to be stalwarts.
“(Westbrook) played a bunch as a sophomore when we brought those guys up,” said Mays. “He’s an outside linebacker, but we’ve asked him to play safety. He has gone back and done punt return. He is a good kid who is willing to do whatever it takes for the team to be successful,” said Mays.
Westbrook has 20 tackles, three tackles for loss including a sack as well as a forced fumble.
How to follow
Who: Douglas (4-1) at Galena (1-4)
Where: Galena High School
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
How to watch: NFHS Network
For live updates: Follow @CarterEckl on X