The Ursuline High School football team carried out familiar strategies from its playbook for success over the weekend in trouncing Coldwater High for its third consecutive Division V state championship: talent, teamwork, tenacity and tradition. At Canton’s Fawcett Stadium on Saturday, the Fighting Irish annihilated Coldwater High 51-21 with superlative play to cap a superlative 15-0 season. Their championship season brings honor to themselves, to their school and to their community.
We congratulate Ursuline’s players, coaches and staff for proving once again that they rank touchdowns ahead of the other 120 schools in Division V, and many would argue their talent outdistances that in the almighty Division I as well.
TEEMING WITH TALENT
The scrappy Youngstown diocesan high school’s achievement comes as no surprise. Once again, the luck of the Irish had nothing to do with its triumph this year or in its two most recent state championships in 2008 and 2009. Savvy analysts saw it coming from the start of this perfect season.
The key ingredient? Tried and true talent.
Ursuline’s Akise Teague, for example, proved that he truly deserved the title of Ohio Mr. Football, Ohio’s highest honor for high school football players. In Saturday’s title game, Teague had 13 carries for 192 yards and four touchdowns. Way to go, Akise!
But Ursuline’s dominance Saturday and throughout the 2010 season was certainly not a product of any one-man wonder. Solid teamwork and camaraderie of the players produced a defensive and offensive powerhouse unmatched in Ohio.
Tenacity, once again, also powered the team’s championship path. The Irish never let themselves settle into an attitude of arrogance and self-righteousness over their coveted standing atop the heap of Division V high schools. They continually learned from their mistakes and worked to do better. As head coach Dan Reardon put it after Saturday’s victory, “The thing I’m most proud of with these guys . . . is how far they’ve come over the past four years.”
Also driving the team, of course, was the North Side high school’s tradition of excellence in the classroom and supremacy on the football field. In academics, the century-old high school traditionally boasts National Merit Finalists and Commended Scholars and has an unusually high number of students — 98 percent — pursuing higher education. In athletics, one need only review its back-to-back-to-back state football titles and its appearance in many state tournaments over its rich history.
This year’s crop of Ursuline players truly did their school, its staff, its alumni and the entire Youngstown area proud.
Hail to the Ursuline High School Irish, home of the 2010 Ohio state football champions.