The Remsen St. Mary’s football team has been the epitome of dominance over the last four seasons. They showed why on Thursday morning in their matchup with WACO for the Class Eight-Player state title.
The reaction following the game was one of excitement and of redemption following last year’s semifinal loss to Easton Valley. Head Coach Tim Osterman says this title begins with the community support around the team.
The redemption was not just related to their loss in football. For senior quarterback Cael Ortmann, the redemption comes from falling short in basketball and baseball last season.
Senior defensive lineman Kaden Groepper was playing for something extra special for the last month. Groepper’s grandpa Robert passed away on October 19 of this year. Groepper’s casket-bearers were all the senior Hawk football players. For Kaden, the win was all for his grandpa.
On to the game, the Hawks jumped out early and jumped out often to a 12-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. They extended that lead to 24-0 within the first two minutes of the second quarter. The first two scores were preceded by WACO three-and-out drives. The third was preceded by a WACO fumble. The fourth was preceded by a blocked punt that set the Hawks up with a short field. Coach Osterman says they knew they had to capitalize on mistakes, and they did that to start the game.
The fumble was forced by Kaden Groepper who recorded 4.5 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. He says he just tried to make a play and came up with huge turnover.
Offensively, the Hawks were led by a record-tying performance out of Brenden Fisch. The senior running back became just the third player to score five touchdowns in a Class Eight-Player state championship game. Fisch was quick to point the praise to his offensive line saying they give him the best chance to be successful.
Junior guard Hunter Pick says the great offensive line play came from tough work in the offseason inspired by assistant coach Michael Koenck.
When Fisch found out that his name would be going in a record book, he was taken aback.
Coach Osterman says this performance was important for Fisch who was itching to get more touches coming into the game.
The performance all around was made more impressive once it was revealed that many important cogs on the Hawks were playing with some injuries. Ortmann, who was dealing with a leg injury, says that just shows the resiliency of the team as a whole.
Coach Osterman says the toughness comes from the upbringing that they have had all their life.
The senior class at Remsen St. Mary’s now graduates with an overall record of 47-2 and two state championships. It was tough to fathom in the moment, but Coach Osterman hopes they can truly appreciate what they have done in the coming days and years.
As for the class coming up, the bar has been set on what needs to happen going forward. For Pick, a rising senior, he knows that the legacy starts with their intensity in practice and preparation. That’s a legacy he and the rest of the class is hoping to keep.
The Hawks become just the second program to win three Eight-Player state titles joining Don Bosco’s four. WACO ends their season in their first state title game with a final record of 13-1.