Even though Novi's Catholic Central its 12th state championship on Saturday, Shamrock pride was front and center at Ford Field.
lost to Detroit Cass Tech, 49-13, but the thousands that showed up wearing blue and white said they were proud of the squad’s effort and entire run through the post-season.
“We’re fortunate to have been here,” said Father Dennis Kauffman, Detroit Catholic Central’s director of school improvement. “You look at the number of schools in the state of Michigan, we were one of 16 to make it this far. It’ll be hard to get that message across to the kids, because they wanted to win like everybody else.”
The backing for Detroit Catholic Central came from more than just the student body and the families of the players. Alums of the school, both recent and from past decades, came out to root for their alma mater. Friends of current players that go to other schools in the area changed their allegiances for just one day and joined the Shamrock throng. That level of support that covers the entire Detroit area and spans across generations is part of the culture that Detroit Catholic Central has always sought to create.
“That just validates the whole atmosphere that we try to build,” said Janice Sharkey, the school’s director of activities. “Once you are in the ‘C.C.’ family, that’s it. All of the alums, all of the parents, and all of the friends all know that they are a part of us. They do so much for us, so we can’t help but be thrilled that they are all here…it’s a win-win regardless of what happens on the field.”
The level of backing that the Shamrocks received was particularly impressive to Steve Schrader of Northville, whose son Nelson plays for the junior varsity football team at Detroit Catholic Central.
“It’s just incredible,” Schrader said. “We’ve got some great fans and a great student section. I really give it to (the team) too. To come as far as they have, it’s unfortunate it just got away from them today.”
Schrader also said that he believes that seeing the Shamrock varsity squad playing for the championship will inspire his son even more as he hopes to one day be a part of a Detroit Catholic Central championship.
“I’ll tell you what, it should be quite the motivation,” Schrader said. “Coming here to see all of the guys and all of the fans is quite incredible. It’s just a great accomplishment and definitely something that is worth fighting for.”