HELENA -- The Helena High Bengals will play host to the Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack for the Class AA girls soccer state championship game Thursday afternoon after a season unlike any other. With the various changes to this season and the uncertainty surrounding playing a full season, the Bengals are just thankful they got the opportunity to play.
"In more ways than just on the field, we worked as a team keeping each other safe," said Bengals senior captain Makayela Ellison. "We all come to practice and work hard, and to see that all follow through with a lot more things on our shoulders, and just winning games, is really important."
The Bengals are the top seed in the Western AA, and the Wolfpack are the No. 2 seed. Though the Bengals swept the regular-season series, they fully understand Glacier is not a team to be trifled with.
"We are just focusing on our game. I told our team not to focus on the other team. We played Glacier before, we know how they play," said Bengals senior captain Hadley Kraft. "I don't want us to focus on how we played them before because every team is different in playoffs, and now that we've been to the championship, it's going to get real with them for sure."
One of the bright sides for the Bengals is they’ll get the opportunity to host the final game of the season, and they hope they’ll get the opportunity to raise some first-place hardware in front of their families.
"It's a dream. Since you're a little girl, like you never imagined it, you'd say, 'Oh, I want to win a state championship,'" said Kraft. "But here we are, less than 24 hours away from getting that opportunity to hold that trophy up in front of our family and friends. It's definitely something I've dreamed about for a long time."
The Bengals and the Wolfpack will kick off in the Class AA state championship game at 3 p.m. Thursday at Siebel Fields.