Newman Catholic wins second straight 8-player state title

Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 3:06 PM CST
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WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - Newman Catholic football has won their second straight 8-player state title with a 54-0 win over Belmont.

Playing in their third straight championship game, Newman Catholic was dominant from the start, scoring 47 points in the first half. Conner Krach threw two touchdowns while running in another pair. His running back, Thomas Bates, had two rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns.

As the season ends on a high note, the seniors on the roster reflect on what this run has meant to them.

“I’ll remember how tight we were on the field and off the field,” said senior center Owen Sullivan. “We’re always friends. There’s very rarely fighting, if there is, we make up right after. Just being with my friends, every day, after school, having fun.”

“The first thing that comes to mind is all the memories that I shared with these seniors,” said senior quarterback Conner Krach. “Knowing that this was my last time out on the field with them, win or loss, we were able to give it our all and it turned out with a dub.”

“Tons of emotions going through my head, knowing I’m never going to play with these guys again,” said senior tight end Eli Gustafson. “But it ended on a high note so that’s a good thing.”

For senior running back Thomas Bates, it’s especially gratifying. Bates missed last year’s title game with a torn ACL. To be able to play Saturday was a dream come true for him.

“It’s a fairy tale ending, that’s the best way to put it,” said Bates. “Last year, my guys got my back. They got the job done without me, with me on the sideline. It just meant the world. It was a really special moment.”

It’s an emotional day for head coach Paul Michlig, knowing Saturday was the last time he’d share the field with that historic group of seniors. In everything, he’s taking a moment to appreciate that class.

“I’ll be honest I cried like three or four times already this week already because this doesn’t come around very often where you get a special group like this,” said Michlig. “For now we’re just going to appreciate the seniors for what they helped us do and what they helped accomplish.”

Newman extends their winning streak to 30, dating back to the 2019 state championship game. The Cardinals have now outscored opponents 103-6 in their two state championship game victories.

The Cardinals won every game this season by at least 34 points. In every game they played this season, Newman had a running clock against each of their opponents.