Is it the team that went to Texas and knocked off Aledo along with defeating Western Division runner-up Serra last week? Or is it the team that took one on the chin to Chino Hills and Crespi?
"That’s the thing," Bishop Amat head coach Steve Hagerty said. "We’re starting to learn how to improve after wins instead of just after losses. I thought the way we finished the game was a real positive sign as a coach that they’re starting to figure it out a little bit."
In fairness to the Lancers, Chino Hills has proven through the course of the season to be no slouch. The Huskies opened the season shocking the high school football landscape by outdueling Hart — the Northern Division champs from a season ago.
Furthermore, the win by the Huskies was almost inevitable. The teams tied in 2012. Last season, Bishop Amat came out on top. So, of course, 2014 was Chino Hills’ time to take down the Lancers.
What Amat’s win over Serra on Friday proved is the new Mission League is everything that it’s cracked up to be — a tough, physical league that’s capable of mirroring the Trinity League in the PAC-5.
Kiefer Stadium is a tough place to visit as Serra found out. No. 15 Bishop Amat has now won 10 of its last 12 home games and it’s not a place Hagerty is accustomed to losing. He won his first 16 games there after taking over as the program’s head coach.
Still, he doesn’t want that to take away from his team’s exceptional effort Friday night in the 14-7 win.
"I don’t want to give credit to (Kiefer Stadium) as much as I think the kids," Hagerty said. "I thought the bottom line was that when we had to move the chains and run the football I thought the kids did a great job. We’ve been in those situations and haven’t responded so I think it shows a lot of growth because we’re playing a lot of young kids and there’s a growth there that, I think, is indicative that if we keep at it, eventually as the season goes on, I think we’re going to be in the mix."
So, if the real Bishop Amat is closer to the team that took the field last Friday, the Lancers could be full of more surprises as Mission League play continues.