Malachi Dupre knows both the feeling of victory and defeat against Evangel.
In 2011, Dupre's sophomore season, John Curtis defeated Evangel in the semifinals en route to a state championship. But in the previous two years, Evangel had the upper-hand, defeating John Curtis in consecutive title games.
"We've been watching that film to show us the mistakes we made mentally in those games," Dupre said. "It definitely makes you want to make sure that when you take the field, anything can happen. I remember losing my freshman year, and I definitely don't want that again."
If the 2012 postseason is any indication, Dupre likely won't have to experience that bitter taste of defeat again. John Curtis has defeated its four previous playoff opponents by an average margin of 53.5 points, eclipsing the 50-point mark in all four contests.
But none of those previous victories, or previous defeats to Evangel, have affected Dupre's preparation.
"No matter who we're playing, we try to prepare the same way," Dupre said. "Every year we've played them, they've tried to make adjustments from the previous year. They try to show us something different on defense…We're just preparing for anything."
Part of that preparation will be for the John Curtis defense to stifle a high-powered Evangel offense. Dupre was very complimentary of Evangel quarterback Dakota Duron, wide receiver Trent Taylor and running back Javin Webb.
"They're more improved than last year," Dupre said. "Their key players from last year are the same ones this year, but they're older and better…They have a whole bunch of strengths and not too many weaknesses. We just have to go out and execute."
Winning a football state championship has always been Dupre's No. 1 priority, but when the season comes to an end on Saturday, it will be time for him to move on to the next phase of his junior year — basketball.
"I'm definitely going to keep working on football during basketball season because that's my primary sport," Dupre said. "I play basketball to stay in shape and to help my team win a state championship. And I love it."
After basketball comes track, where Dupre competes in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. And he'll also try to find some time to address the dozens of schools recruiting him.
"Once the college seasons are over, it will be a good time for me," Dupre said. "We'll both be off. I'm going to start focusing more on that once football's over with."
Kansas State was the last school to officially offer Dupre and joined a list of 10 other programs, including LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, UCLA and others.
"It seems like every time I talk to a coach I have another offer," Dupre said.
Dupre said he still has no leaders, and is taking the process slowly. He doesn't have any plans to narrow his options to a list of favorites.
"I'm just trying to keep taking them in, and when I think it's time I'll [narrow it down], but I don't know when that will be," Dupre said.
Dupre Preparing for State Championship
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