A year ago, Pine Creek flew under the radar, with some teams thinking the Eagles were due for a down year. Then they ended up in the state semifinals.
Now there's a new challenge, as the Eagles make the move up from Class 4A to 5A, "It gives us a chip. There’s always something to fight for. Last year, (we had) zero votes heading into the coaches poll. We weren’t even ranked last year, and I think we proved a lot of people wrong with that," says Tanner Ragas. Brett Alvey adds, “We’ve kind of talked about that. We can start a new era with a 5A winning program, not just a 4A winning program."
There's doubters of course, but that's to be expected, "Oh I love them. Last year we had a lot of doubters. This year we have a lot of doubters. We always have a lot of doubters. People don’t really respect us, and it’s motivating," says Jerry Lydiatt. “I think Colorado Springs is kind of a sleeper area. People look at Denver, and look at all the talent over there, and they kind of sleep on the Springs, Ragas. They look at us as a 4A team, and they can’t see us as anything other than that. I love it. Bring it on. If you want to doubt us, doubt us. We are here to prove people wrong, that’s what we do.”
The last few years, the Eagles have schedules a bunch of 5A teams, and they've beaten a lot of them, so they're ready for this, "We’re totally prepared. Our whole league last year was 5A, and we are in the same league this year. The only thing new is going to be the playoffs, and that’s just going to be the same as league. We have a tough league. Probably one of the best in the state," says Lydiatt. “It prepared us well. Last year, and the year before, we played in the league up there, says Ragas. It’s the same league this year. We’re just going to compete in the 5A playoffs now, which is that next big step."