Calvary senior Randy Woodle walked along side his teammates to the center field for the coin flip carrying a jersey. It was No. 30, the same number his teammate Will Mathews would've worn had he been alive to play in his final high school game.
Mathews passed away in 2010 from a rare brain infection following a wakeboarding accident but his memory lived on in every play, every down, and every snap for Calvary this year.
"We told ourselves we were going to win it for Will," said Woodle, senior linebacker. "We didn't know when we were going to do it but we knew we were going to win a title for Will before we graduated."
And they did just that. Calvary won the D-III state championship on Thursday afternoon, dominating Archbishop Hannan, 62-7. The Cavaliers quickly overpowered Hannan putting 20 points on the board in the first quarter. Calvary led 41-0 at the half.
Woodle, a linebacker who'd never touched the football for Calvary's offense, was given the opportunity to do so Thursday when he scored his first and only offensive touchdown of his high school career.
"Randy is our leader. I wanted to give him this opportunity," said John Bachman, Calvary head coach. "It wasn't about running up the score. It was about giving him this opportunity."
The win was Calvary's first state championship. Running back Orlando Bradford won the Most Outstanding Player honor after he racked up nearly 300 total yards of offense and scored four touchdowns.