AUSTIN (KXAN) - Georgetown is making its ninth appearance in the state tournament, and its second in the last three years. But after a disappointing end to last season in the second round of the playoffs, an unusual offseason helped propel them back to state.
"This gym was under renovation, our weight room was totally gone," head coach Rhonda Farney said. "So, in the spring, we ended up having to workout outside. Most of the spring was spent on the track. I think it really forged a good chemistry among our kids. I think that's kinda where the idea that we could get back here was born."
"It was a workout just to start the workout, " senior Kaitlin Walla said. "It made us stronger in the end. it was a lot harder, we were always in the heat, we had to help each other out carrying the weights out there. It definitely got us ... united."
The difficult offseason came after the Eagles we knocked out of the 5A playoffs in the Area round by Spring Dekaney. A loss made all the more disappointing since Georgetown was in the 5A state championship game a year earlier.
"I think being there once just gives us more motivation to know what it's been like and to know how exciting it is and pushing us to wanna go back again," senior Lorrie Santoy said.
Santoy and Walla are two of the three girls who were on the 2011 team that lost to Irving MacArthur in the championship game, and they aren't taking their second chance at a title for granted.
"it's a once, not once in a lifetime experience cause i've been there before, but it's incredible," Walla said. "It's humbling. You go in there, we're telling all the youngins, you can't hear anything. It's just this roar, it's like you're in a fishbowl. You can't see the crowd, you can't even hear the ball bouncing. It's a surreal experience and I'm very fortunate to have experienced it twice."
Georgetown returning to the state tournament continues an impressive athletic run by the school this year. The boys basketball will be competing in the regional tournament this weekend. Last weekend, both Blair Murski and Jace LaCaille won state titles in wrestling. And in the fall, La Caille was part of the Eagles' football team that made it to the state championship.
Two of those football players, Randy Knightner and Chico Martinez are also the practice squad the Eagles go up against every day.
Georgetown opens the state tournament Thursday at 8:30 against Northside Brennan.
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