Turkey & football: Wilmington preparing for fourth-straight Western Final appearance


The Greyhounds are practicing Thanksgiving morning for Friday night's showdown with Avonworth

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (WKBN) – Turkey and football have turned into a great combination for the Wilmington football team.

“If you’re practicing on Thanksgiving morning, it means you’re one of the four teams left in the state, so that’s special in itself,” said Junior McConahy, Wilmington receiver. “Plus, coach always lets us keep it fun. We always do some kind of theme, so this year, we’re going to do jerseys, so we’ll wear our NFL football jerseys and come out here and practice.”

Despite the fun atmosphere, the Greyhounds are all business this week, looking to punch their ticket back to the state championship for a third straight year.

On Friday, they face an Avonworth team making their first appearance in the Western Finals.

“We look at these as one-week Super Bowls,” said Head Coach Brandon Phillian. “I think one thing that is going to work to our advantage is the fact we have experience playing on this stage, playing in the Western Final. All of a sudden through experience, the lights maybe don’t seem quite as bright, the stage doesn’t feel so big and I think through that experience comes a quiet strength.”

“We want to end the season off on a high note,” said Weston Phanco, junior lineman. “Show all these people that thought we were not going to be good this year, show them, prove them wrong.”

Wilmington enters the semifinals as one of the most rounded teams in the State, averaging 43 points per game on offense while holding opposing teams to under 10 points per contest.

“For us, balance doesn’t necessarily mean 50/50, run pass,” Phillian said. “We look to be more of a 60/40, or 65/35 type of a balance, so I think we’ll look to be a little more balanced.”

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