What a difference three years can make.
“My freshman year we were still in 11-man and we only won one game that year,” said Joe Stephan, a senior tight end.
The Cardinals are now one win away from their first ever state championship.
“So, coming to 8-man and having three undefeated regular season has been just amazing,” Stephan said. “To bring home a gold ball, finally, would mean the world.”
This year, they’ll have to go through Luck, a team they met back in 2017.
“Two years ago, from what I can remember, they were a really big, physical, fast team,” said Ben Bates, a senior quarterback. “They were well-coached, well-disciplined. We had to play perfect football to come out on top, so that’s what we have to do this time. We have to do our job, stay disciplined and, hopefully, it all works out. We play hard and the game turns out in favor of us.”
After losing in level two of the playoffs last year, Newman Catholic made it a mission to get to state this season.
“It’d mean the world,” Bates said. “I just want to show our coaches, our families, our community, our school that our hard work and dedication will pay off. We just want to make everyone proud and show them what we’re made of.”
Whether the Cardinals win or lose on Saturday, it’ll be a season this group will never forget.
“We just want to enjoy the moment and enjoy the time that we have together because Saturday night at 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock, when we get back here at Newman, the 2019 crew will not be together again,” said Phil Michlig, Newman head coach. “So, we’re just trying to enjoy the moment.”