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Beverly Hills

Country Day football team maintains focus on postseason run

Published October 10, 2012

» click to enlarge «
Rich Wilson (2) is pictured during an Oct. 4 practice. As an independent program, Wilson and the Country Day football team use the regular season solely as playoff prep.

BEVERLY HILLS — The drive moved methodically down the field.

A two-minute drill engineered to near perfection, setting up a game-winning field goal with hardly a second to spare.

Guys on the sideline erupted, sprinting onto the field in celebration.

And this was just a Thursday afternoon practice against no defense.

The truth is, though, the Beverly Hills Country Day football team hasn’t been too shabby against a live action, either.

“There’s an intensity we bring to practice every day, and I think that’s what’s driving us,” junior quarterback Tyler Wiegers said once the Oct. 4 practice ended. Wiegers and the Yellowjackets traveled to Flushing High the next day and picked up their sixth win of the season in a 48-27 final.  “Everything we do is with a purpose. We’re a very focused team.”

When the season began, coach Dan McLean admitted there was some growing pains likely to occur.

But right out of the gate, his guys seemed to hit the ground running.

Country Day opened the year with a 41-0 win against Detroit Mumford, and after allowing a 14-0 lead to disappear in a 22-14 loss to the University of Detroit Jesuit, reeled off four consecutive wins with 12 points being the closest margin of victory leading up to the Flushing game.

“Truthfully, we feel like we should be unbeaten,” junior running back Rich Wilson said with a smile.

Wilson and Wiegers have played a substantial role in the success so far, especially the offense, which is averaging 32 points per game.

Wilson has rushed for nearly 800 yards and 14 scores, hauled in one touchdown pass and returned an interception for a score.

Through six games, Wiegers had completed 58-of-98 passes for more than 800 yards and eight touchdowns.

“It all started in the offseason,” Wiegers said. “The spring and summer, guys got together and worked, and committed to this.”

McLean said the team is right where it should be at this point in the season, “not a finished product, but we’re getting there.”

Unlike most teams, which can take aim at a conference title throughout the regular season, Country Day plays an independent schedule, and any and all long-term focus rests squarely on playoff preparation.

“The playoffs are everything for us, it’s that simple,” McLean said. “You’d love to have those other goals to shoot for, but this is the reality we’ve all grown accustomed to. We focus on those six wins, and then take it from there.”

“We prepare all year for the postseason, that’s where all our success is measured,” Wiegers said. “And this team has state champion potential. That’s our goal.”

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