Madison- The WIAA State Hockey tournament begins Thursday, and it'll be a big week for Sun Prairie.
The boys team plays Bay Port in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon and the girls' co-op team plays in the semifinals against the DC Everest co-op Friday afternoon.
Just two seasons ago, the Sun Prairie boys team won only five games, but the Cardinals have won 17 games so far this season and made it to state for the first time since 2004.
Head Coach Chris Finkler says some big changes have led to some impressive results.
"Leadership has been the key," Finkler says. "We started some things with leadership groups and reading books and just holding each other accountable. And I also think that we just have a good group of guys . We have genuine character and that means a lot in a team atmosphere."
Senior goaltender Sam Dunn adds, "last year we turned it around and we've got it here this year so I think anything's possible. It doesn't matter what your season is, you can always get her.. Everybody has a chance when it comes to playoffs."