Central pride runs deep after championship win

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Irish Nation is smiling and celebrating.

Friday night, the Central Catholic High School football team defeated Trotwood Madison 16-12 to claim the Division Two State Championship title.

Saturday, a pep rally was held in their honor at the school.

Superfan Felicia Towbridge went crazy like she always does at games.

Her son Keith is a member of the team.

"If anybody knows about Central Catholic, they're rich in spirit. Why not be excited about that?" said Ms. Towbridge.

"I kind of zone her out sometimes when she says stuff. Zone her out but it's good," said Keith.

The rally is all about the Central Catholic spirit.

The team had a 3.25 grade point average during its championship run.

Players are taught the football field is an extension of the school building.

"Memories of a state championship will last a lifetime with them. But I'd like to think the things we preach about character as a person, as a student and spirituality is going to follow them throughout life," said team head coach Greg Dempsey.

Rev. Dennis Hartigan prays with the team before and after games.

He says Central Catholic students are taught to have a 'we' attitude, not a 'me' attitude.

"On our own, you can't do an awful lot. But together you can win state championships," said Rev. Hartigan.

Team co-captains presented the championship trophy to school administrators.

They say they're inspired by a famous Central Catholic graduate who was fight commander during the potentially disastrous Apollo Thirteen mission.

"The quote from Gene Kranz, 'Failure is not an option.' That applies to our school's way. That's what we do at Central Catholic," said wide receiver Mitch Cochell.

And it's a winning way at Central Catholic on and off the field.

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