(WVUE) - De La Salle did something last Friday that the program just isn't used to. They punched their ticket to the state title game. The last time the Cavs did that was way back in 1961.
"You know it's awesome. So happy for the alums of this school. The administrators and teachers that work here that are alums," said De La Salle Head Coach Ryan Manale. "Anybody outside of alums, how proud they are this week. Went out to eat twice, both places I'm taking pictures with people. That's alums in a group text about their school going to a state championship. I couldn't be prouder. How deserving of a place, this gem De La Salle High School, and the resurrection. To be part of that is special."
It'll be a full two weeks in-between the semifinal game against St. Thomas More and the Division II Championship game against University High, in the Superdome, but that is just fine with Coach Manale. It gives the team time to heal those bumps and bruises,and refocus on the "big one" in the Dome.
"You know this is where the byes help. We had a bye in between Karr and Riverside, and a bye in the playoffs. The Karr-Riverside bye, we were playing the defending state champion (Karr), bye week, playing another defending state champion (Riverside). That week you're being told how good you are, the best in the city. We have to stay humble and hungry, and we answered that terrificly at Riverside. My kids have been resilient," said Manale.
The most resilient of them all, quarterback Julien Gums. When a play needs to be made, he always answers the bell.
"What a kid, he's phenomenal. He's phenomenal in the classroom," said a proud Manale. "You won't find a teacher in this school, that will say a negative thing about Julien Gums. You won't find a parent, or any kid he comes across, that's going to say one negative thing about Julien Gums. He's the most humble kid I've ever been around."
De La Salle meets up with University High at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, December 8th.