"For years people in Hurricane didn't even know where the state tournament was because they never went,'' said Dagostine, who has guided the Redskins to states four out of six seasons.
"I'm proud to get there. It's a tough tournament to get to. Have we had any luck there? I don't think it's luck. It's whomever we played beat us. Of course we feel good about having another opportunity.''
The Redskins have been tested several times this season, but their talent has always shined through.
Hurricane beat No. 4 Winfield three times, including the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship and the sectional title games, trailed No. 7 South Charleston at halftime before pulling out a 3-2 win and most recently edged Huntington 2-1 in the regional after the Highlanders forged a 1-all tie just before halftime.
"We just need to worry about ourselves,'' Dagostine said. "We didn't come off a very good regional game. Huntington had a lot to do with that.
"The kids hung in there and made enough plays to get through it. We need to get our house in order and just come play hard and play the game the way we're capable of playing it.''
The Redskins' only blemish was a 1-1 draw with Parkersburg, which advanced to states, in the regular-season finale. Hurricane and Parkersburg are in different brackets of the state tournament, so if both win they will meet in the title game.
"Somebody asked me, 'Going into it unbeaten, is that an issue?''' said Dagostine. "Our guys don't even think about that. It's been all about just playing your next game. [Our players are] not going in with any baggage. This group all year has been confident.
"They think they're good enough to beat whoever they play. I think the real test for them was the regional where they were really having some difficulties. Just fighting for everything they got. I think they've got the mental, physical and emotional makeup to go get it done.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.