ROSALIA, Wash.--When the Rosalia High School football players take the field on Saturday they will enter uncharted territory. The small team from Whitman County is making its first ever court appearance in the state 1-B semi-finals.
The players are preparing for their state semi finals game in the Tri-Cities. The students and coaches alike had to learn a new style of football this year.
Rosalia High School combined its football program with student athletes from Tekoa and Oakesdale for a long time. A new deal to combine the schools in all sports did not work out before the 2013 school year.
Rosalia found itself independent without a league, without a fall football schedule and without enough players.
“May through the summer we scrambled to find… we ended up with 8 games this season,” said head football coach Kaleb Madison.
The team had an eight man football program.
“We had to go out and get 20 something new helmets. We had to go out and get new jerseys. We had to go out and get some new shoulder pads for our kids. The community rallied behind that,” said Madison.
The Spartans football schedule took them to place farther than they have ever had to travel like Oregon, Western Washington and Idaho.
“Nine and a half hours was the furthest we traveled… in the same day and then played a game,” said Madison.
Madison said it built character and now has landed the team in the playoffs with an overall nine and two record. They are one win away from playing in the state championships.
One fan has even traveled with the team for the past 40 years.
“It's a great experience and I tell these kids to cherish it because, you don't get there everyday. You don't get to this point every season,” said Mike Day.