Friendswood, Lake Travis in anticipated rematch
The last time Friendswood and Austin Lake Travis met in the Class 4A Division I state semifinals, Lake Travis had its way with the Mustangs.
When the two meet again at 2 p.m. Saturday at Kyle Field in College Station, it will be a different ballgame.
The Mustangs (13-1) have a new attitude headed into this one.
"This year, I can promise you we won't get there and just be satisfied with getting to this round," Friendswood coach Steve Van Meter said. "There is a different mood, better team chemistry and more confidence this year."
Lake Travis (12-2) has won three straight state championships and defeated Cedar Park 21-20 last week to advance to the state semifinals. One of those state championships came in 2008 after the Cavaliers beat Friendswood 55-22 at Kyle Field.
Friendswood upended Montgomery 49-28 on Saturday to make the semifinals. The game was tied at 28 at halftime, but Van Meter made a couple of small adjustments at the break and then watched his team take over.
"One thing I have really been impressed with lately is our defense," Van Meter said. "They really came through in the second half."
Friendswood was highly ranked and one of the favorites to make it out of Region III in the preseason. After the Mustangs lost to Santa Fe 21-20 midway through the season, some questions arose.
Van Meter said that after that loss the whole attitude of the team changed.
"There is no doubt that that was a really good learning experience for us," Van Meter said. "We overlooked them; we weren't mentally prepared. We haven't made that mistake again since."
Van Meter has noticed leadership by example from several of his players since that loss.
Quarterback Peter Maetzold, who has thrown for over 3,500 yards and tossed 34 touchdowns this year, has shown maturity both in practice and in games.
"He doesn't have to be vocal about it," Van Meter said. "He is just doing things the right way every day."
Another factor in Friendswood's attitude adjustment is the toughness of District 24-4A. Last week, in the two Region III finales, there were three teams left from the district. This week, La Marque and Friendswood are competing for spots in the Division I and II state championships.
"We played in a lot of tough games against really good teams," Van Meter said. "That has made us stronger this year. We are a different team than we were in 2008."
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