By Gary R. Rasberry
COLDWATER -- In a year where they went unbeaten, won a conference title, Associated Press state football poll title and Division IV state championship, Coldwater's football team received yet one more award.
MaxPreps.com, a nationwide high school sports Web site based in California, presented the Cavaliers with an award for making the national top 25 poll of high school teams from around the nation. The poll is based on a program that utilizes strength of schedule, quality wins, margin of victory and record. The site publishes stats and standings for all of the over 15,000 high schools in the nation.
At an assembly on Monday in The Palace, the Cavaliers received their trophy as part of The MaxPreps.com Tour of Champions, presented by the Army National Guard. Brigadier Gen. Matt Kambic, Assistant Adjutant General of the Ohio Army National Guard presented head football coach John Reed with the trophy that is given to the teams in the Top 25. Coldwater was the only Ohio stop on the 10-school national tour.
The Cavaliers finished the final poll 15th after capturing the Division IV state title in December. The poll had the Cavaliers with a rating of a 54.5 and a schedule strength of 24.9 on the season.
"This is beyond all expectations," said Reed of the national honor. "To win the state championship, you really think is the top of the line. What else could we expect? Now to have a national organization like MaxPreps come in to give us this honor is more than we expected. "To be honored as the 15th (best) team in the nation by MaxPreps is just the icing on top of the icing on top of the icing, whipped cream and cherry. It's all there."
Reed is happy with the recognition that the award brings, not only to Coldwater, but for the other teams in the Midwest Athletic Conference.
"We all know ... that this football played in (the area) is a tremendous level of football," said Reed. "I'm just glad to see it. It's not only for Coldwater, but for all of us that we play. It's a big thrill.
"For all that work that you did," said Reed said to the players when accepting the award. "All the hours in the weight room, all that running you did, all the challenges you committed yourself to do, to know be recognized nationally, that's a great compliment to you."
Chris Brethel, representing MaxPreps, was impressed how the football team and town have such a strong bond.
"It's special to come to Coldwater," said Brethel. "It seems to be a tight, close-knit group of people. Having the Army National Guard here as well, giving their community angle and recognizing the effort the team had as an unit, it's special to come in here. It's an honor to come to Coldwater."
Only four teams from Ohio earned a spot in the top 25. Cincinnati St. Xavier, the Division I state champion, finished second behind Texas powerhouse Southlake Carroll. Following Coldwater, Massillon Washington, the runner-up in Division I, was 16th and Division III state champion Steubenville was 22nd overall.
Coldwater also finished second to St. X in the web site's state poll. St. John's finished 13th with Versailles taking 48th.