Goings’ contribution invaluable in Central’s ‘drive for five’Written by Chris Schmidbauer | | email@example.com
Coming into the 2009 high school football season, all eyes in the race for the City League title were on the Central Catholic Fighting Irish. Head Coach Greg Dempsey and his team were in search of a fifth straight league title, something no team has done in the league’s 83 years of existence. With senior quarterback David Walendar and senior playmaker Nate Hobbs returning, the Irish looked poised to accomplish the history-making feat.
But when Hobbs was injured in Central’s third game of the season against Mishawaka High School out of Pennsylvania, the Irish’s chances might have taken a big hit had it not been for junior running back Calebb Goings.
“Coming into this season, we had lost our top two tailbacks, and there was going to be a competition for that tailback spot,” Dempsey said. “Calebb just kind of kept plugging along and won that top spot for us.”
Through seven games, Goings has quietly established himself as one of the more dominant tailbacks in the City League. Goings ranks third in the league in scoring and fourth in league in rushing yards.
“I do not really worry about stats very much,” Goings said. “I just keep following the advice of my coaches and trying to stay focused during the game.”
It was that focus that shined through during Central’s game against St. Francis on Oct. 9 at Gallagher Stadium on the school’s Cherry Street campus. The game was contested in poor weather conditions with high winds and a steady rain making offensive yards a valuable commodity.
Goings carried the ball 34 times in the game against St. Francis and racked up 132 yards rushing for the game. His efforts allowed Central to control the clock and momentum in the game, which helped his team to come away with a 10-0 victory over St. Francis and reclaim the coveted Irish Knight trophy for a sixth straight season.
“The other night was a night where we really needed someone to step up, and Calebb did that for us,” Dempsey said. “The wind picked up on us in the third quarter and it made passing and kicking very difficult for us. But Calebb kept moving the chains for us and that was a huge part of that game for this team.”
Goings and his teammates knew how important the running game was going to be with the adverse weather conditions during the game.
“We knew that the ground game was going to be huge in that game. The offensive line really came through for us during the game and I was able to have a good game,” Goings said.
The win meant that Central is the only undefeated team left in the City League and officially puts them in the driver’s seat in the race for the City League championship.
But the task at hand for the Irish is far from over. The Irish have match ups against the Whitmer Panther (3-1 in the CL, 6-1 overall) and rival St. Johns Jesuit (2-2 in the CL, 4-3 overall) left on their schedule. But coach Dempsey is relishing the spot his team is in.
“I told our kids that it is not often that you have a chance to make history,” Dempsey said. “I like the fact that our team has these rivalry games at the end of season. These big games keep the kids attention and keeps them focused down the stretch here.”
It is players like Goings, whom the Irish will lean on over these final games, to bring home a fifth consecutive league crown.
“We need our guys to continue to step up and we need Calebb and other guys on our team as well. We need him and the others to stay healthy,” Dempsey said. “He’s important to us in all facets of our offense, and we need him to continue to improve. He cannot be intent on one big game. He needs to take it to the next level for us if we are going to have a successful end to this season.”
Much like they have done all season, Goings and his team are zeroing in on the task at hand.
“We just have to trust and listen to our coaching staff and intently study our film,” Goings said, “We just have to keep doing what we have been over these past seven games. If we do that then hopefully we can bring home a fifth consecutive title.”
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