WAUWATOSA — If you watch Tosa East practice, fun and a phrase come up.
"Like coach has said, like our motto all year has been band of brothers. This is a really tight-knit group," Point Guard Brian Parzych says.
Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports asked different teams and different personalities. Does it seem like they're having fun and are pretty loose?
"Well you're hearing it," Tosa East Head Coach Tim Arndorfer says. "Right? They're a pretty close-knit group. You know, they really are. We always talk about it, this band of brothers, right?"
For Tim Arndorfer, it's time to return the Red Raiders to state glory.
"It's been a long time," Arndorfer says. "You know, 2008 seems like a really long time ago."
For the team, being top-ranked was OK.
"I mean it was definitely something special," Parzych says. "But we care about that number one spot at the end of the year, instead of the beginning."
And for football recruit Marcus Mbow, he almost left early for college and missed this.
"That decision was probably the toughest decision I've ever had to make," Power Forward Marcus Mbow says. "You know, leaving early. But when I figured out that I wasn't going to Arizona State anymore, I felt like, 'I'm not leaving early anymore because this team right here, is just so special.'"
But they know after last year's shutdown before state, this is a blessing.
"I remember last year," Mbow says. "You know, watching playoffs. After we got eliminated, and seeing teams you know, get all the way there and then having it cut from them. I was just like, 'that must really suck' you know. It was, I mean I hurt for the teams, having something that you've worked for your whole entire life and just having it taken away from you when it's right there. That's terrible. So I'm really, you know, grateful to have this opportunity with my teammates."
"Just to be playing, to be honest, was a gift," Arndorfer says. "And to have the opportunity to get a state title is even better."