Mater Dei football team takes a ride on fire trucks after state win

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Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 5:54 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Mater Dei fans have no doubt been celebrating the football team’s state championship victory all weekend long, and that celebration continued Sunday, with a fire truck parade.

To the victors, go the spoils. The victory: a 20-10 win for the Mater Dei Wildcats over Andrean, to win the IHSAA class 2A football state championship on Friday. The spoils: a hero’s salute for the Wildcats, on Sunday, as the team took a fire truck ride around the west side, ending at the school, and culminating with an assembly inside a fan-filled auditorium, with this state title trophy.

“It was amazing. I know it was cold, but they sure enjoyed it,” said Mater Dei football head coach Mike Goebel. “It’s really a privilege for those young men to play for this crowd and these people, but also to be recognized by the Evansville Fire Department and everyone else who came out in support. It makes a big difference, and it makes it even that much more special.”

“They took us past some apartments, past one of the player’s grandma’s houses. Then, we came back down, went down Franklin Street and then drove through the Mater Dei parking lot,” said Ethan Stolz, a Mater Dei senior. “That was easily one of the coolest experiences that I’ve ever had, just to be up there with those guys, it was awesome.”

[Mater Dei wins state final]

It capped off an historic weekend for Wildcat football, which won the program’s second state championship, and it was extra-sweet, as they exacted revenge on the 59ers, who defeated them in last year’s state finals.

“They deserve any kind of applause they get because they did this the old-fashioned way, they worked hard for it. They worked as a team for it,” said Goebel. “There were 11 players out there that you could just feel the intensity and feel the camaraderie. Each and every play we had 11 guys going at it for each other, and that’s something you don’t always have.”

“This community it hardly ever forgets,” said Stolz. “People still talk about the state championship game 22 years ago. It’s awesome being a part of something way bigger than yourself.”

Mater Dei football finished its state championship season 12-3. It’s other state title, came back in the year 2000, before any of the players on this year’s team, were born.