Columbus Catholic holds up its state qualification banner after defeating Garner-Hayfield-Ventura in Waterloo on Wednesday.
Columbus Catholic celebrates on the field after beating Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 2-0 in Waterloo on Wednesday.
WATERLOO – Waterloo Columbus football coach William Maletta admits his squad found it easy to look in the rearview mirror at the start of the season.
After a 2019 state tournament run that ended in a 1-0 loss to Iowa City Regina in the championship game, the Sailors felt they had the pieces to fight for a title again in 2020 before that season was canceled .
Now Columbus is back in Des Moines.
The Sailors (12-8) were placed in 8th place and will open the state tournament game against Burlington Notre Dame (20-1) at noon. This game marks a rematch of the Catholic Invitational, in which Columbus suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against Notre Dame. The Sailors lost all three games that day by one goal and Maletta believes experience will be the key to success.
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“I expect it will be very similar to the tournament where the games amount to one-goal wins,” said Maletta. “It will be this game (last week’s win against Garner-Hayfield-Ventura) that will be increased to 10 points.”
The seaman’s trainer said his team’s journey back to the state began with moving away from the past and focusing on the present.
“I think it started at the beginning of the season and forgot about the past,” said Maletta. “A lot of these people and even I got stuck in the lost season. We had a very good group last year that would have had a chance to play (for a national championship).