Football season a memorable oneWritten by David Gatwood | | email@example.com
Another high school football season has come and gone in Toledo. It seems like only yesterday we were awaiting that first kickoff, and yet, with Whitmer’s loss Friday night to Canton McKinley in the regional finals, all high school teams in the immediate Toledo area have completed their seasons.
Like every year, there were some great moments and successes to remember. The first one that comes to mind is the phenomenal year enjoyed by the Whitmer Panthers. Coach Joe Palka and his staff did a wonderful job in not only getting his players ready to put together a season that carried them to the regional finals in the state playoffs, but also in re-energizing the Washington Township community. Panther pride is back and the success of the football team is a major reason.
Although a second straight state championship eluded them, Central Catholic had a good season. For most of the season the Irish were rated as one of the top Division II teams in the state as they ran their winning streak during the past two seasons to 22 games before finally being upended by St. John’s Jesuit. Unfortunately, the Irish ran into a tough Piqua team in the first round of the state playoffs and made an early exit, but Central’s accomplishments must be commended.
State championships and 22-game winning streaks are a rarity. These two Central teams will go down as some of the best the city has ever seen and the team members have much of which to be proud.
On the East Side, longtime St. John’s Jesuit coach Fred Beier must be smiling broadly as his son, Tony, led the resurrection of the Cardinal Stritch football program. The Cardinals had suffered through many losing seasons, but came strong this year. Stritch rode the talents of an outstanding senior class to an undefeated TAAC season, an 8-2 overall record and a state playoff berth.
The Cardinals were a fun team to watch and the late Coach Beier had to be proud of the way his son coached this team and conducted himself on the sidelines. Toledo is lucky to have the Beier coaching legacy continued as young Tony demonstrates the old adage that “an apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree” is true. Hopefully, Toledo high school football will enjoy the advantage of having a Beier on the sidelines for many more years.
There were many other great moments and successes in this past season, but space limitations make it impossible to comment on them all. Perrysburg’s title in the NLL; the modernization of Waite’s football stadium; and, the Libbey Cowboys winning their first game in two years come to mind. Congratulations to all the participants who made these accomplishments possible.
For more high school sports news, visit the Web site www.nwoprepsports.com.