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Polaske cheers on son’s dream season

By: Dave Krizman Journal Sports Columnist
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Living the dream.
No words could possibly ring truer than these words for Neal Polaske, a counselor at Placer High School.
Polaske’s son, Scott, plays safety on the Rocklin High football team. On Saturday, Rocklin will play Servite High of Anaheim in Carson in the Division II State Championship game. While every parent dreams of success for his son or daughter when the season begins, very few expect to see their child play in a state championship game.
For the greater Auburn area, Polaske and his son are the only connections to the state championship games.
“We thought we would have a good team,” Scott Polaske said. “When we beat Nevada Union early in the season, we knew we were pretty good. Then when we beat Granite Bay with a big defensive effort, we knew we had something special.”
Spoken like a true father, Neal Polaske uses the pronoun “we” as if he were on the team. Yet, for the parents of the young men on Rocklin’s football team or, for that matter, any parent whose child has played on a high school team, the use of “we” is appropriate. While Neal Polaske has not made a tackle, scored a touchdown, or made an interception, his commitment to his son and the team has earned him and all parents the right to use the pronoun “we.”
Continuing a parent’s breakdown of the season, Neal focused on the stunning victory over Sacramento football juggernaut Grant in the section semifinals. The Pacers won the open division state title last season.
“We just wanted to be competitive,” Neal said. “There was not a lot of pressure on the kids. Grant was legendary… bigger than life. We really had nothing to lose.”
Describing one of the greatest defensive stands in Sacramento prep football history, a goal line stop that will be remembered for the ages, Neal recalled what was racing through his mind.
“It bordered on the unbelievable,” he said. “I kept thinking, ‘hold them just one more time.’ When the game ended, it was pure elation.”
After one of the most stunning upsets in Sacramento playoff history, Rocklin would go on to defeat arch rival Del Oro for the Division II Section Championship, ensuring them a spot in the state bowl game
Today, Neal and his wife Virginia along with other Rocklin parents will make the long trek down Interstate 5 to watch Scott play in the championship game on Saturday. Of the ten remaining high school teams, Rocklin is one of only three public schools. The team they face, Servite, is a Catholic high school in Anaheim and is currently rated No. 1 in the state and No. 2 in the nation by MaxPreps.com.