Duncan Olthuis, head coach of the Kamloops Broncos, isn't looking ahead to the playoffs yet, but the same can't be said for his players.
Heading into today's home game against the Okanagan Sun (5-2), the Broncos (2-4-1) are hoping to ride the high of their current two-game winning streak to the first postseason berth in team history.
"It's on all our minds," said defensive back Kyle Haddow before practice Thursday. "We'd like to be the first team in our history to make it to the playoffs and do some damage in the playoffs."
The Broncos, who started the season 0-4-1, have turned the tables on the B.C. Football Conference, following a 25-20 victory over the Valley Huskers on Sept. 7 and the controversial 37-36 victory against the Westshore Rebels on Sept. 14.
Kamloops is now sitting in the fourth and final playoff spot in the BCFC and holds the tiebreaker over the Huskers, despite having the same record.
And while Haddow and his teammates might be looking to the future, Olthuis is trying to keep his squad grounded in the present.
"We haven't discussed playoffs at all, we're just taking each game at a time, day-by-day, and trying to keep our focus," he said. "The kids are focused on each game and they're not worried about where we are in the playoffs. Playoffs is not even a discussion right now . . . if we start discussing it then the kids get lax and start thinking ahead towards that. We gotta focus on each game and each day."
The Sun (5-2), which is in a three-way tie for first, will be a tough opponent for the Broncos, who are looking to stretch their winning streak to three games and improve their 1-3 home record before finishing the season with back-to-back road games. The Sun has the best defence in the BCFC, surrendering just 128 points so far.
Olthuis said his team knows what to expect and there should be no nerves.
"We played them in the first half of the season and we were up 8-2 at half," he said of a game the Broncos went on to lose, 23-8. "We gotta be able to finish that game off, put together a 60-minute game."
Opening kickoff for the Broncos and Sun is scheduled for 7 p.m., at Hillside Stadium. With a victory, the Broncos will inch closer to the first playoff berth in team history. Olthuis and company will also be keeping tabs on the game between the Langley Rams (5-2) and the Huskers. Should the Huskers upset the Rams and the Broncos lose to the Sun, Kamloops would again fall out of the playoff picture.
"We're up but we're still hungry - we want to win out," Haddow said. "After the bye week (Aug. 31) we came together and said 'Let's win these five games, these are winnable games, and let's try our best to go 5-0 in this part.' "