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Basic seniors continue climb

Basic quarterback Robby Faiman and his senior teammates learned all about being at the bottom of the barrel during their freshman season.

Tonight, the Wolves could find out what it’s like to be at the top of the heap.

Tenth-ranked Basic (6-3, 4-1 Southeast League) hosts sixth-ranked Green Valley (7-2, 5-0) at 7 tonight in the annual Henderson Bowl. If the Wolves win by two points or more, they would lock up the Southeast League’s top playoff seed.

“We’ve learned to overcome adversity,” said Faiman, who has passed for 1,096 yards and rushed for 609 this season. “This senior class, when we were freshmen we went 0-10. So we really had to put in the hard work, and we’re dedicated to this program.

“It shows what hard work can really do, not just for football, but anything in life. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. As long as you work hard and do your best, anything is possible.”

The rivalry game always brings excitement, but the two teams’ strong showing this season makes it all the more important. Silverado and Del Sol were the preseason picks in the Southeast, but Green Valley or Basic could lock up the top playoff spot tonight.

“It’s been a while since Basic’s had a game this big,” said first-year Basic coach Jeff Cahill, a 1992 Basic graduate. “I don’t think in the previous 17 Henderson Bowls that this much has been on the line.”

Cahill thinks it might come down to which team can take the pressure of the big game.

“It’s going to be a really hard-fought game,” Cahill said. “It’s just going to be the emotion of the whole thing. Which team can handle that better is going to be the team that prevails.”

Green Valley might have the edge in a close game. The Gators have won three one-point games this season and have had five games decided by six points or fewer. And kicker Nolan Kohorst gives the Gators an edge in a close game. He has kicked nine field goals this season, including four of 50 or more yards.

“Their kicking game is just tremendous, probably the best kicking game in the whole state,” Cahill said. “So I’m sure that plays a big role when you win those games by a point or two, and that’s something we’ll have to overcome.”

Green Valley, meanwhile, will have to overcome Basic’s home-field advantage.

“Basic, it’s like a small school in a big city,” Faiman said. “It still has that family, that small-city feel that’s really nice to have. Here in old Henderson, everybody still follows the Basic program.”

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