Monday, December 07, 2009

Community Celebrates St. Paul's State Title

From today's Norwalk Reflector:
MASSILLON - Saturday’s Division VI state championship for the St. Paul Flyers culminated with a wild celebration at Whitney Field.

The Flyers, 24-21 winners over Delphos St. John’s, were greeted by hundreds of well-wishers as the team buses pulled into the Whitney Field parking lot.

Whitney Field’s lights were turned on and the scoreboard read “24-21” and the time said “20:09.”

The bleachers were packed and the St. Paul High School band pumped out the fight song.

Head coach John Livengood, who is often very serious, smiled as he carried the state championship trophy on to the field.

The players and coaches took the trophy on a victory lap.

Livengood said in Saturday’s post-game press conference the victory “hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Livengood, in 19 years as head coach, has posted an overall record of 181-49.

His teams have captured 13 Firelands Conference titles, been to the playoffs 13 times, advanced to the state semifinals six times and finished as runners-up three times.

Now, add to that the 2009 Division VI state championship. Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch has proclaimed Tuesday as “State Champion Flyer Football Day.”

The Flyer football team will be honored with a “Night of Champions” at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the St. Paul Convocation Center.

Norwalk city council has moved the time of its work session from 7:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday so council members and city officials can attend the celebration.

Saturday’s St. Paul win was special in several ways.

First, the Flyers upended the undefeated defending champs.

Second, Delphos St. John’s had never lost a Division VI title game (5-0) and had only lost one time as a Division VI playoff team.

That’s right.

Marion Local’s 24-20 over St. John’s in the 2000 state semifinals was the only time before Saturday the Blue Jays had lost in Division VI.

The Blue Jays were Division V from 2001 to 2004.

St. John had won titles in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2008.

The 1997 and 1999 wins were both over St. Paul.

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