PHOENIX - For the Thunderbird Chiefs, Saturday's game is for 37 years of football players who have come before who didn't have the opportunity to play for a state football title.
After back to back 3-7 seasons, Thunderbird is ready to prove they aren't the underdog, but as the 13th seed deserve to be state champs.
For a school that was founded in 1972 thirty seven years is a long time to wait to see your football team play in the state title game.
The last time a Chiefs football team made it to the semi-finals was in 1990.
Although players and coaches aren't admitting it they feel a little pressure from all those who have come before to win the 4A-II state title.
Many of Thunderbird’s coaches played for the Chiefs. Former player and assistant coach Riley Weber said tradition gives his team a mental edge.
The Chiefs have been the underdog all postseason and their last two games have come down to the final play. Coaches and players know that to beat Williams Field they will have to be playing at their best. They are certainly prepared for a fight.
It is also Williams Field’s first time in the state title game.
Not lost on anyone is this year there will be a new 4A-II state champ.
NOTE: Thunderbird beat Williams Field in the 4A-II title game in overtime 23-20.