Final goodbye

Ali Schuchmann, Sports Writer

The Xavier Saints Football team after losing to Lewis Central 24-32 in the Iowa State Championship. The game went into triple overtime at the UNI Dome on November 18, 2021. Photo Submitted

Mike Ditka, a former football player and coach, once said, “You never really lose until you quit trying.” The Xavier Football Team’s season came to an end with a loss against Lewis Central in the state championship game at the University of Northern Iowa Dome in Cedar Falls. Despite an upsetting result in the final game, which went into triple overtime, the Saints battled throughout the season. The Saints wrapped up the season with a record of eleven wins and two losses. In addition, seven seniors and two juniors received Class 4A All-State honors from the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association. First team selections included seniors Nate Westhoff, Trysten Vazquez and Alex Neal, as well as juniors Thomas Sundell and Aidan McDermott. Second team was awarded to seniors Will Hiserote and Christian Stanek. Third team featured seniors Tommy Reinwart and Andy Kram. In addition, the KMA Sports State Football Player of the year awards were given to Aidan McDermott as the top defensive back in class 4A and Trysten Vasquez as the top kicker in 4A. Throughout the season, the Saints faced multiple highly skilled teams, including the September 17 game against North Scott, former 4A state champions. Though they did not win this game, it gave them motivation to work harder everyday. “I think the loss in week 4 was a wake up call to all of us that we really needed to step it up in every aspect of preparation. We learned from it and continued to get better every week,” senior captain, Aidan Henry said. In the November 11 state playoff semifinal game, the Saints defeated Winterset with a 40-14 victory. This gave the Saints an edge heading into the championship game. “I think the win against Winterset really boosted our confidence going into the championship game. It gave us a lot of momentum and proved to ourselves and everyone else that we can compete with anyone,” Mcdermott said. Despite the loss of several seniors last year due to graduation, the team was able to adjust and fill their roles. “They adjusted by accepting their role and roles. People sacrificed individual accolades for the sake of the team,” head coach Duane Schulte said. Overall, the team is proud of their accomplishments and thankful to have gotten the chance to play with one another this season. The seniors will be greatly missed next year and the juniors are ready to start preparing for next season.