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Mater Dei football program prepares for its sixth state appearance

Head coach Mike Goebel celebrates 25th year at the helm
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - After an emphatic 23-7 win over Indianapolis Scecina, the Wildcats are headed back to state for the sixth time overall, and the fifth in the Mike Goebel era.

Goebel and company are eager to secure their second championship.

“I’m really excited for the players and community and very happy with the results right now, we’ve had a great run,” Goebel said.

This is a special season for Coach Goebel as it’s his 25th year at the helm.

“He’s a great motivator and he prepares well for practice,” senior wide receiver Eli McDurmon said. “They know everything about the team before we even step on the field on Monday.”

Coach Cody Hess works with Goebel now, but he used play for him as a Mater Dei student-athlete.

“Just watching him, being around him, getting to talk to him, you will learn something every day,” Hess said. “Being able to play for him and now coach with him has been a dream. It’s an honor to be part of this.”

Hess was Goebel’s lead rusher in 2011, a year the Wildcats made it to the IHSAA state final, so he knows how to prepare the players mentally.

“We’ve got to treat it as a football game. Go out there and do the things we’ve done all football season to prepare, just like we have the last couple of weeks.”

With a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium on the horizon, Goebel said that playing this Andrean team will be a challenge, but one his team can certainly handle.

“They have a Notre Dame commit that plays running back and linebacker, he’s a load, they’ve got a couple other commits that play receiver, so our hands are full there. Defensively, we’ve got to try to slow them down because they’re very quick and fast. But, our kids have shown week in and week out that they’re up for the challenge and we certainly had a nice run as of late. We just hope we can continue, we’re not going to be content or satisfied just getting there.”

Mater Dei will take on Andrean, in the IHSAA class 2A state championship game, on Saturday, at 11 a.m. central time, at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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