Last night, 119 Rocks, led by 40 seniors, took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, ate, and returned as Champions. Your Rocks captured the school’s first ever football State Title on the back of a gritty, physical performance against an equally solid opponent in the Columbus East Olympians. 16-13 was the final score in a game that came down to the wire.
The Shamrock offense produced big first downs when the team needed them, also punching in the lone Rock TD of the night. They protected the ball and set up the special teams for 3 crucial field goals. In the end, it was fitting that this group should be given the ball one last time, kneeling it three times to seal the victory.
This year’s Rock D will go down as perhaps the best in school history, allowing just over 14 points per game and holding a potent Olympian offense to only 13 points. They slammed the door in the second half, shutting out their opponent and coming up with huge stops when called upon. No stop was bigger, perhaps, than when East was threatening the goal line near the end of the game, coming as close as the 1 yard line, only to be denied after four downs.
Shamrock Special Teams played the high scorers of the night, generating 9 points and executing perfectly when on the field. They maintained the field position advantage, drilled field goals, and kept all Olympian return efforts contained. Special recognition should be given to Will Harrison’s State Finals record 52-yard field goal that was the first of the Rocks’ points.
There is so much to find impressive in this group of young men. From the 40 seniors displaying selflessness on a daily basis, finding and embracing productive roles on a team in which a majority of them could not find regular playing time due to their sheer number, to the younger players who thrived beneath the leadership and offered excellent scout team preparation down the tournament stretch. This team was built upon the foundation of “Heart” and “Family,” and it used those principles, attacking every day, in order to earn success on the biggest of high school stages.
We have a lot to be grateful for today. Grateful for the opportunity and support within our fantastic community. Grateful for the fans and parents that provide the fertile soil in which the seeds of success are grown. Grateful for the managers and support staff that work tirelessly behind the scenes nourishing and caring for those seeds. Grateful for the 119 young men who put in 339 days of intense effort growing the seeds. But most of all, grateful for the 40 seniors who, finally, were able to taste the fruits of their hard-earned labor.
Congratulations to the 2016 Class 5A State Champion Westfield Shamrocks. We, the coaches, hope that this has been one of the most amazing experiences of your lives, and feel truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to help you reach your full potential as a football family. What a great day to be a Shamrock!