Each of the last four years, West Catholic High School has earned the right to play in the Division 5 Championship Game at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. This season, the Falcons were looking for their third straight title.
Making it to Ford Field is a statement of a long season of hard work paying off and it culminates into the biggest game of the season as a battle for the best team in the division. Division 5 consists of teams with an enrollment of around 400 – 500 students.
The day of the championship, the team met at West Catholic High School to have breakfast together before loading on the bus. After breakfast, the team, along with many of its fans, attended Mass together at Saint Adalbert’s Church, which is a nice way to start the day before the Big Game. After Mass, the team loaded back on the bus to head to Detroit.
I am a graduate of West Catholic. My family and my cousins have all gone through West Catholic for many years. My father taught math, coached track and football, and ultimately retired from the school after 40 years. We always go to the football games. West Catholic as a program travels very well. Many people past and present make an effort to go to the games.
This year, there were five big Grey Hound buses that made the trip to Ford Field. Hundreds of cars ended up making the trek to support the team in the Championship as well.
The bus ride was a blast. Of course, everyone on the bus knows each other because they are all from West, which makes the trip even more fun. After arriving in Detroit, the whole bus went to Hockeytown Café for lunch and to talk about the game with fellow friends and fans.
This past season, I was very proud watching the team play. One of the players, Carl Myers, happens to be my cousin! Carl is one of the captains and is an all-star lineman who earned All-State Honors. Carl has chosen to continue his education next year at the University of Michigan as a “preferred walk-on” for football. Carl also excels in track and field events such as the shot put and discus throw.
After lunch, it was time to head over to Ford Field to cheer on our team as they prepared for another State Championship against River Rouge. It was an exciting game that was consistently back and forth, especially during a 20-point 4th quarter when River Rouge threatened West Catholic down the stretch.
In the end West won 40 to 34! As the clock worked its way down to zero, you could feel the excitement brewing on the sidelines and in the stands. After the clock hit zero, the team ran onto the field to celebrate with their teammates and coaches. They received their third straight championship trophy and will also receive rings.
With the season in the books, I had the opportunity to talk with two important pieces to the Falcon’s success in 2015, my cousin Carl Myers and his good friend, and fellow captain, Connor Nemmers.
Carl: “The guys were very big, very fast, and came down very hard. It was super hot in the stadium after playing in the snow the week before. They [River Rogue] were very disciplined. I knew that since it was my senior year and that it was going to be my last game, I had better go out on top! It was a lot of fun.”
Connor: “I remember everything from the game. Every snap and whistle. It was such a great way to leave our legacy at West.”
Connor, can you give me a few details describing the game? Also, what was the toughest part of the game from your standpoint?
Connor: “It was the greatest time of my life. The atmosphere inside was unbelievable when I looked around seeing all of the fans. In the game, the toughest part for me was, the last quarter as a whole. They started scoring very fast, and I thought we were going to lose at one point. We ended up coming up with the win though.”
Carl, you were voted to be a part of the “Dream Team”, could you tell me a little about that?
Carl: “I was the only one from the west side to be on the Dream Team, there were tons from the east. I got to meet and talk to some of the top guys in the state, but it’s cool knowing that I am also in the top. Mark Dantanio gave a good speech to the guys on the team about dreams.”
Connor: “My favorite game of the season was probably when we played Lansing Catholic. They were expected to win the state championship, but we ended up with the win. It just felt like a great game.”
It certainly sounds like the boys really worked hard to pull off the win at the championship game and it definitely shows they pulled together to get the final win. Good luck to the team next year and to Carl and Connor as they finish up the school year. Go Green! Go White!
Katie works in the film industry as a camera operator and has worked on films like ‘All You Can Dream’, ‘Set Up’ and a TV show called ‘American Fallen Soldier.’ She loves helping WKTV with the Citizen Journalism team and working as a tech at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Katie loves working in the film industry and loves watching movies just as much!