Young Wildcats make own mark with CarrPublished 11:53am Wednesday, November 27, 2013
In as many years since 2009, three previous Edgewood teams captured the AISA crown. Two of those Wildcat teams capped an undefeated season with the title.
The program, headed by Bobby Carr, now boasts AISA records for consecutive championships, at four, and longest winning streak, at 45. Each of the last two years, the Wildcats exited the year undefeated state champions.
While creating history, history has repeated itself for Edgewood. But differently.
“What this group took from teams in the past is that understanding of what it takes to be a winner,” said Carr about what separated the 2013 version of the ‘Cats from those previous teams.
“That’s the biggest thing with them, they don’t know any other way. They always find a way to win at the end of the ballgame.”
Carr said no one expected the now, title-holding group to even advance back to the AISA Class AA championship contest. Replacing 19 starters from the 14-0 team in 2012, plus injuries to key playmakers this season, fueled the doubters.
But not one guy flinched in the Edgewood locker room.
“Our talent level was down a little this year and that’s why I got emotional after the (championship) game, just thinking about how far this group had come,” Carr said. “You know, replacing 19 starters, everybody was counting them out. We weren’t even supposed to be in the championship game.
“I think it really speaks volumes about our group. They really grew up over the course of the season.”
A knee injury suffered by senior quarterback Taylor Hawthorne, forcing him to miss six games, plus trailing by as much as 16 in the title game, accelerated stress to an all-time high for Edgewood. Outlasting those stressful circumstances, Carr said, demonstrated the integrity of a young, Wildcat team.
“I told them I was proud of them,” he said. “They showed everybody what Edgewood football is all about and what their character is all about. This team is a family, they are a band of brothers. No matter what obstacles was placed in front of them, they overcame them. I hope later in life they can reflect back to this football season and how the team stayed on top. Hopefully, they learned that life lesson and take it with them forever.”