The Wilde Lake Football Team Has Their First Playoff Win In Nine Years


Marian Isailovic

Wilde Lake Football at Manchester Valley for their second playoff game.

This year, the Wilde Lake football team has amazed the school with their outstanding playoff run after coming in 5-8 overall and 2-6 in the region. After having barely made it into the playoffs as the eighth seed, their first game performance shocked the school as they upset the first seed, River Hill, with a final score of 14-10.  

“The biggest thing that changed between the regular season and the postseason we finally worked as a team,” Coach Henderson said, explaining the large difference in playing capacity. “We stopped getting in our own way and we all learned some valuable lessons from the regular season that we all needed to be successful.”

“I was pretty overwhelmed when we beat them,” says Hugo Melgar, a Wilde Lake senior and varsity lineman. “It just felt so great.”

Coach Henderson shares similar sentiments. “It was a magical moment,” he says. “I thought it was great for our guys, for the coaches, and for everybody. I can’t put it into words, you just really had to be there to see it all come together.”

As they moved forward in the playoff run, the Cats found themselves against Manchester Valley in the second round. Despite their rough season, they prevailed with a score of 22-0. 

Coach Henderson comments, “These are some of the most hard working and resilient student athletes I have ever coached. They are such a great group at times I forget I am the coach because I feel like their biggest fan.” 

Unfortunately, the team ended their season against Huntingtown High, a Calvert County public school, in the third round of the playoffs. The team would’ve been dubbed regional champs if they came out with a win and advanced to the semi-finals, just short of states. However, despite their loss, they still managed to achieve Wilde Lake’s first successful playoff run in nine years. 

“The team was really awesome this year, and it felt like we were a family,” says senior Sam Nason, the team’s kicker. “I feel incredibly sad knowing I won’t be seeing them on a daily basis, but this season was just so much fun. I won’t forget it.”

Melgar shares similar sentiments. “It sucked losing against Huntingtown, we could’ve done better,” he said. “But I’m glad to know the future of Wilde Lake Football is in good hands.”

Our thoughts about the season and the future is it doesn’t matter how you start but how you finish,” Coach Henderson reflects. “This is just the beginning for Wilde Lake Football.”