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By Kayla Torson, Xavier sophomore
CEDAR RAPIDS – Xavier girls’ assistant soccer coach Emily Moses has a fairly simple philosophy on winning a state championship.
“In order to win a state title, you have to play for everyone, but yourself,” she said. “You have to put every one of your teammates before yourself and really care for their success rather than your own.”
Moses and Xavier know quite a bit about winning state titles.
The Saints have won 22 state athletics titles since 2003. Those 22 state titles include a seven-year victory streak for the girls’ soccer team.
Xavier also has earned a state title in football, two in boys’ track, two in girls’ cross country, two in boys’ cross country, four in boys’ soccer, three in girls’ basketball, and one in baseball. This proves that being the smallest school in the class does not make it impossible to win a state championship.
In 2006, Xavier’s football team, coached by Duane Schulte, was the smallest school in Class 4A when it won the title. The Saints were second in past fall.
“Despite being the smallest school in 4A, if you are tough and approach things the right way with your work ethic, you can see that it’s possible to win a state championship,” Schulte said. “It’s not a given, but it’s possible.
Physical toughness and work ethic are not the only things needed to win a state championship. Girls’ basketball coach Tom Lilly said “players with the will to win” also are a key factor to winning a state title.
Track coach Russ Camacho agreed, noting “the pure joy in watching my athletes win and do well is a major motivation factor in why I coach.”
“When you’re coaching, you’re not forming an athlete, you’re forming an individual,” Moses said.
Because of this, coaching is not all fun and games. Coaches have to work with every athlete to assure they are giving their all. Even though there may be struggles along the way, at the end of the day, after the team wins that state title, the coaches and the players know all the hard work has paid off.
“You sit back and realize the work that is put in by coaches and players to be successful and you try to maintain that level of commitment,” said baseball coach Dave Schemmel, who had his 500th career win.