As the highly recognized State Championship football team returned for the celebration of their 10th year anniversary, many former players shared moments, lessons and feelings of the one game that made their hard work worthwhile.
On Oct. 19, at the Wesleyan homecoming football game, the State Championship team was acknowledged for their achievement 10 years ago. The nostalgia of the high school experience was more likely in full effect, as the Friday night lights shined down upon them one more time. They got to bask in the glory of, to some of them, the best days of their lives.
Former football player and Alumnus Scott Schroer (’10) said, “I think I miss the people the most. The coaches, players, cheerleaders and managers all made that year so unique and the fact that I got to play 15 games with all my best friends, and also win, was really special.”
The victory was a heartwarming experienceand that was made evident within the players, coaches, managers and cheerleaders.
Former football player and alumnus Bobby Worthington (’08) said, “It’s one of the more memorable experiences of my life. Physically, we were probably the clear underdog. But we had a really strong game plan, and we just needed to execute what we practiced… I knew we were going to win before ever stepping onto the field.”
Worthington was a senior captain during the State Championship game in 2008. He is currently living in Atlanta, recently wed and working as an electrical engineer and project manager for a company doing airport design. Additionally, he is partnered with a fishing tackle company selling a fishing lure he designed. Also, Worthington said, “I still spend lots of time with several of my buddies from that football team.”
Many of the shared expressions among the players were ones of, not regret, but a reflection full of happy memories and a longing to revisit those once more.
Some of the best memories from that season were not even centered around the games or even the State Championship, although it is likely impossible for that team not to have good memories of winning.
Former football player and alumnus Devin Stanton (’10) said, “Some of my favorite memories off the field were watching film every day in Coach Krehmeyer’s office in the student lounge. We would use our free period or scarf down lunch, so we could pile in his office and watch film together.”
Additionally, Schroer shared a moment from that season. He said, “One thing I’ll never forget from that season is, after our 1-2 start, Coach Pridgen calling a team meeting and stating very clearly that our number one goal for the year was not to win games, it was to honor the Lord with how we play. And if we didn’t win another game that year so be it, but we were going to shift our focus and aim to honoring God with the season regardless of the outcome. That’s great to say and all in camp and spring practice and when you’re winning, but it takes on a whole new meaning when your job might be on the line because you’re losing. I really think God honored that decision and we won the next 12 straight.”
Schroer is currently a physics teacher at Wesleyan, so he is not too far away from those memories and the nostalgic feeling.
Like Schroer said, that team started off that season choppy, but they ended up on top. He said, “College was kind of like that for me and I remember thinking back to the stairstep analogy we had posted in the locker room where each step was another game and we only talked about the next step each week, not how we needed to win 12 games in a row.”
Worthington suffered injuries during his sophomore and junior years. He said, “I miss football practice. After having to sit out of my sophomore season and most of my junior season due to injuries, being able to participate in practice was a gift for me. So, when we were told to jog out onto the practice fields each day, I took great pleasure in hitting that field at a full sprint.”
The players surely miss the experience of not only the gift of the State Championship game, but also the season and the little moments that made that build up of emotions so worthwhile. Now, 10 years from the moment history took place, and the team rejoined together to breath in that victory on more time.