Batavia Bulldogs Championship Keepsake Edition
1 | Batavia Bulldogs Keepsake Edition 2013
Photo by Sandy Bressner
A L I AN O ’ S R I STOR ANT E 9 0 N. I S L A N D A V E , B ATAV I A 6 3 0-4 0 6-9 40 0 W W W . AL I ANO S B ATAVI A . C O M
2 | Batavia Bulldogs Keepsake Edition 2013
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STATE DeKALB – The Batavia football team’s excellence grew more striking each week. By Thanksgiving weekend, in the IHSA Class 6A state championship game, that was mighty bad news for Richards. The enormous momentum the Bulldogs generated in recent weeks bubbled over Nov. 30, at Huskie Stadium, overwhelming Richards as Batavia won its first football state championship in program history, 34-14, in front of thousands of delirious B-Town backers. Batavia’s leaders rose to the occasion of the championship game, and the rest of the team followed suit, burying Richards early and never letting up. “I’m so proud of everyone who took it upon themselves and took such great pride in this community,” Batavia senior quarterback Micah Coffey said. “You know, we wanted to bring this championship home. It’s an amazing feeling to know that we did.” Batavia led 14-0 by the end of the first quarter and 28-7 by halftime. The outcome never was in much doubt from then on as Batavia (13-1) avenged its only loss of the season, a Week 2 setback to Richards in Batavia. “We’re just a really good team,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. “We’re a lot better than everybody realized, I guess. Even maybe us coaches at times, too. These guys, when they got to this level, they had another level to their game. This group of kids could raise their level above where they were week by week, minute by minute. “I will tell you, when they could taste it, which was [last week at Rockford Boylan], they were going to get it. They knew it. They could feel it. You could see it in their eyes.” Any championship-game butterflies for Batavia vanished swiftly thanks to a sizzling start. Richards’ first drive ended with an interception from Batavia all-state cornerback Michael Moffatt on a deep ball by Richards QB Hasan Muhammad Rogers. Batavia then rode its other all-stater, fellow senior Anthony Scaccia, extensively during a 79-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard Scaccia TD plunge, one of his three rushing TDs. Scaccia ran it 33 times for 189 yards and did not fumble against Richards’ vaunted defense. “I know they have a big linebacker crew, and they’re very fast – I give them so much credit, a lot of respect – but we have a lot of big linemen, too, so when we can get to that next level and start hitting them, too, it really creates some big holes for us, and that’s what we did today,” Scaccia said. Coffey and Moffatt made history of their own late in the first quarter. Batavia started its second possession at its own 2-yard line, and faced a third-and-8 from the 4. That’s when Coffey connected with Moffatt on a flag route for a 96-yard touchdown connection, the longest TD pass in 6A title game history. After Howie Morgano’s extra point, it was 14-0 Batavia with 48 seconds left in the first quarter. “I saw that Moffatt had a little bit of separation, and I knew that I wasn’t going to have a whole lot more of time in the pocket because obviously being down in our goal line, you don’t have a whole ton of time, and those [linebackers] are really good, they were getting to me,” Coffey said. “So I took a chance, and their safety made a bad decision. For Moffatt to be able to pull that in and then kick it into high gear and take it into the end zone was something really special.” Moffatt said he almost stumbled while tracking the ball. “I was hoping I could keep my feet because I knew if I did, then we could turn it into big yardage,” Moffatt said. Richards (12-2) came within 14-7 after a 9-yard TD pass from Rogers to Dedrick Shannon early in the second quarter, but Batavia added two more TDs – a 25-yard pass from Coffey to a wide-open Rourke Mullins, and another 1-yard Scaccia run – to go ahead 28-7. SHAW MEDIA
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Batavia’s defense stoned Richards on four plays, beginning at the Batavia 3-yard line, in the final minute of the second quarter to add another layer of luster to a dynamite first-half performance. Batavia’s lead swelled to 34-7 at the 8:16 mark of the third quarter on Scaccia’s final TD run – giving him 28 on the season – and Batavia mostly was in clock-milking mode from there throughout a workmanlike, bruising second half. Coffey finished 15 for 18 for 229 yards passing with one interception. Batavia picked off Rogers three times, with senior linebacker Anthony Thielk and Mullins following Moffatt’s early interception. Piron said the main difference between Batavia now and in the 31-25, Week 2 loss to Richards was a healthier defense and a team that embraced the need to improve as the season unfolded. In its season-closing 12-game winning streak, 11 of the wins came by 20 points or more. “We really got better every week so I think what you saw near the end of the season, kind of what we did here in the playoffs, was a testament to the whole program, all those kids, coaches, and then these guys for every single week trying to raise their game and get better,” Piron said. Nov. 30 marked Batavia’s second state championship game appearance; the Bulldogs lost to Normal, 30-20, in the 2006 6A final, contested in Champaign. Batavia’s championship is the first football state title for a Tri-Cities school and first for an area public school since Kaneland claimed consecutive titles in the late 1990s. Batavia planned a host of celebratory gatherings throughout the weekend, including being hailed at halftime of the Batavia boys basketball team’s home game Saturday night. Players relished the chance to bask with the community, though hugging and laughing with one another was gratifying in its own right. “Just sharing this with them, the guys that I grew up, is just so special,” Coffey said.
BATAVIA 34, RICHARDS 14 Richards 0 7 7 0 – 14 Batavia 14 14 6 0 – 34 HOW THEY SCORED FIRST QUARTER B – Scaccia 1 run (Morgano kick), 4:11 B – Moffatt 96 pass from Coffey (Morgano kick), 0:57 SECOND QUARTER R – Shannon 9 pass from Rogers (Chiaramon kick), 10:49 B – Mullins 25 pass from Coffey (Morgano kick), 5:12 B – Scaccia 1 run (Morgano kick), 1:29 THIRD QUARTER B – Scaccia 12 run (kick failed), 8:16 R – Rogers 4 run (Chiaramon kick), 6:56
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING – Richards: Johnson 7-97, Rogers 16-65, Carpenter 1-1. Totals: 24-163. Batavia : Scaccia 33-189, Coffey 8-20, Green 5-13, Moneghini 1-0. Totals: 47-222. PASSING – Richards: Rogers 18-41-3-226. Batavia : Coffey 1518-1-229. RECEIVING – Richards: Shannon 8-112, Willett 4-27, Tears 4-21, Carpenter 2-66. Totals: 18-226. Batavia : Moffatt 6-127, Scaccia 4-33, Zwart 2-28, Green 2-16, Mullins 1-25. Totals: 15-229. TOTAL OFFENSE – Richards 389, Batavia 451 Batavia Bulldogs Keepsake Edition 2013 | 3
BATAVIA BULLDOGS 2013 SEASON, WEEK BY WEEK FINAL RECORD: 13-1, CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPIONS
Aug. 31 vs. Glenbard North 29-26 W After seeing its much-anticipated season opener pushed back a day by severe weather, then moved from an afternoon game to a night game because of field conditions, Batavia rewarded its fans’ patience by delivering a tone-setting opening victory against DuPage Valley Conference power Glenbard North. Jordan Zwart, Anthony Scaccia, Michael Moffatt and Anthony Thielk each scored touchdowns as Batavia built a 29-12 lead, then held off the Panthers despite a pair of fourth quarter Glenbard North touchdowns. Sept. 6 vs. Richards 31-25 L Batavia saw its 20-game regular season winning streak snapped by visiting Richards, as uncharacteristic turnovers and missed tackles proved costly against ultra-athletic Richards. Batavia tried to rally late but dug too large of a hole as Richards scored 18 unanswered points in the third quarter. Little did anyone realize that night that the Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs showdown would be a preview of the eventual Class 6A state championship game. Sept. 13 at Geneva 49-20 W Clearly agitated about a rare loss the week before, Batavia was delighted to take out its frustration on archival Geneva, taking control early and maintaining command throughout in the Bulldogs’ first road game of the season. Batavia senior safety Forrest Gilbertson snared a crucial interception late in the first half to keep the Bulldogs ahead, 21-7, at halftime, and a successful pooch kick by Howie Morgano to begin the second half was recovered by the Bulldogs’ Ethan Compton. Three plays later, Scaccia scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, and the rout was on.
Krusz made his only carry of the season count, scoring a rushing touchdown late in the first quarter to the delight of his teammates. Oct. 5 at Larkin 46-14 W In a stretch of the season in which Batavia seemingly was on cruise control, Larkin briefly caught Batavia by surprise, taking a 14-7 lead on the visiting Bulldogs early in the second quarter. The Bulldogs didn’t care for the uprising, scoring 39 straight points from then on to claim another blowout victory. A 45-yard touchdown pass from Micah Coffey to Moffatt on the last play of the first half highlighted the Bulldogs’ surge. Oct. 11 at St. Charles North 44-7 W In a season filled with big-time performances by Moffatt, the allstater turned in another night to remember. The senior receivercornerback supplied a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown in the final minute of the first half, and made a highlight-reel 34-yard grab on a fourth-and-16 play that gave the visiting Bulldogs firstand-goal from St. Charles North’s 1-yard line. Senior linebacker Anthony Thielk also added an interception return for a touchdown. Oct. 18 vs. St. Charles East 47-14 W Batavia scored touchdowns on each of its first five possessions, romping past a St. Charles opponent for the second straight week. Four of those five touchdowns were scored by Scaccia, including a 41-yard TD run and 44-yard TD reception from Coffey. None of Batavia’s six first-half scoring drives lasted longer than 2:53 as the Bulldogs continued to build momentum toward the postseason.
Sept. 21 at Streamwood 56-14 W Even without several injured regulars on the defensive side of the ball, Batavia had no trouble with struggling Streamwood, piling up a 49-7 lead by halftime and playing the entire second half with a running clock. Scaccia notched two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in the second quarter, while senior defensive tackle Ryan Minniti consistently collapsed Streamwood’s offensive line.
Oct. 25 vs. Elgin 62-14 W In Batavia’s regular season finale, the host Bulldogs took their supremacy to new heights, racing to a 42-0 lead before the first quarter was even through. Speedy receiver/defensive back Rourke Mullins caught a 36-yard touchdown pass and returned an interception 40 yards for another TD as the Bulldogs wrapped up the Upstate Eight Conference River championship outright, having outscored their six UEC River opponents by a combined score of 304-83.
Sept. 27 vs. West Chicago 48-7 W This Week 5 matchup against West Chicago provided another opportunity for the Bulldogs to flex their muscles and have some fun against an overmatched opponent. Junior offensive lineman Mitch
Nov. 1 (Round 1 of 6A playoffs) vs. DeKalb 48-6 W One year after being upset in the first round of the playoffs by Downers Grove North, the Bulldog Stadium faithful had no reason to sweat this year’s postseason opener as Batavia clobbered DeKalb.
The Barbs grabbed a quick 6-0 lead, but it was all downhill from there for the visitors. Once again, Coffey and Co. didn’t take long to heat up on offense, as the Bulldogs scored touchdowns on each of their first six possessions. Nov. 9 (Round 2 of 6A playoffs) at Rolling Meadows 48-13 W Hitting the road for the second round of the playoffs didn’t faze the Bulldogs, who went ahead 21-6 on yet another dynamite TD catch by Moffatt, who leapt to pry a 27-yard reception away from a Rolling Meadows defender who was in position to break up the pass. Coffey threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Bulldogs had plenty of padding on their lead to withstand a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Rolling Meadows in the third quarter. Nov. 16 (6A quarterfinals) vs. Lake Forest 19-14 W Going against one of the elite defenses in all of Class 6A, Batavia’s offense couldn’t continue its breakneck scoring pace, but the Bulldogs’ defense kept the Scouts in check to power host Batavia to a quarterfinal win. Scaccia supplied a touchdown run and TD reception and Mullins hauled in a 54-yard TD pass from Coffey for a 19-7 lead in the third quarter. An unsuccessful fake punt try by the Bulldogs gave the Scouts an opening to close the gap late, but Batavia’s defense rose up again in the closing minutes. Nov. 23 (6A semifinals) at Rockford Boylan 38-6 W Scaccia carried the ball a whopping 41 times as Batavia’s usually diverse offense tilted heavily toward the run on a freezing afternoon in Rockford. He rushed for 184 yards, including scoring the team’s first three touchdowns, while Mullins added a back-breaking interception return for a TD as the Bulldogs led the previously unbeaten Titans, 24-0, at halftime. Batavia’s passing game chipped in to put the game out of reach, including a 90-yard TD pass from Coffey to Zwart. Nov. 30 (6A state final at Huskie Stadium vs. Richards) 34-14 W Batavia was in charge throughout, thrilling the thousands of Bulldogs fans who made the short trip to Huskie Stadium by claiming the program’s first state championship and avenging their lone loss of the season. The Bulldogs’ stars certainly rose to the occasion; Moffatt had an interception and a memorable 96-yard TD reception, Scaccia rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns and Coffey was 15 for 18 passing for 229 yards and two TD passes.
Congratulations to the 2013 6A Football Champion BATAVIA BULLDOGS!!
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FRONT ROW Brandon Haines, Andrew Clark, Jack Schroeder, Keaton Drees, Matt Fabian, Danny Aharoni, Anthony Scaccia, Blake Crowder, Sergio Espana, Nowie Morgano, John Buchas, Nicholas Offutt
2ND ROW Rourke Mullins, Anthony Moneghini, Kevin Murphy, David Lanciotti, Jason Cahill, David Sharp, Micah Clements, Justin Halters, Patrick Gamble, Dan Munson, Patrick Ward, Matt Zimmerman, Jake Birkhaug, Isaac Cortez, Forrest Gilbertson
3RD ROW Coach Beckmann, Coach Colamatteo, Brandon Parker, Alex Rodriguez, Ethan Gates, Ryan Minniti, Mitch Davis, Brandon Dean, Dean Simoncelli, Eric Wallerstein, Angelo Magana, Mark Faessler, Sean Conklin, Peyton Piron, Connor McKeehan, Anthony Tuzzolino, Eric Schneider, Coach Holm, Coach Cadena
4TH ROW Coach Whitwell, Coach Bailey, Coach Sims, Nate Kearney, Ethan Compton, Steve Hansen, Eddie Golden, Josh Leonhard, Donovan Kilker, Eric Huizinga, Evan Acosta, Conor Croci, Jon Wall, Stefyn Cortez, Kevin Green, Coach Piron, Coach Hankes, Coach Jensen
5TH ROW Coach Kabba, Coach Gaspari, Jacob Halters, Nick Bernabei, Joey Gross, Alec Berry, Mitchell Krusz, Michael Moffatt, Micah Coffey, Jacob Slott, Dylan Ingersoll, Dan Rubio, Aaron Glasco, Zach Tate, Janke Hlava, Coach Plate
BACK ROW Coach Kolowski, Clayton Siemsen, Johnny Robinson, Jordan Zwart, Jonathan Shubert, Brandon Nutley, Jack Breshears, James Millette, Tucker Knox, Chris Astra, Anthony Thielk, Max Heidgen, Noah Cotten, Noah Frazier
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Batavia Bulldogs Keepsake Edition 2013 | 5
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Batavia q uarterback Micah Co ffey throw s the ball d uring the Bulld ogs’ 38-6 IHSA 6A semifinal win over Rockford Boylan. P hoto by Sandy Bre ssner
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MOST MEMORABLE QUOTES
FROM THE BATAVIA FOOTBALL TEAM PLAYERS AND COACHES The Batavia football team gave players and coaches plenty to talk about during its state championship season. Here are some of the most memorable quotes from the year, as told to Kane County Chronicle sportswriters: “Noah’s one of the hardest working, strongest young men in our high school. The things that he’s capable of doing will just become more and more evident as the year goes on.” – Batavia coach Dennis Piron, after Noah Frazier had a pair of sacks late to preserve Batavia’s season-opening, 29-26 win against Glenbard North “It’s exactly that, it makes a statement to the conference that a loss isn’t going to get us down. We’re going to get right back up and get right back at it. Obviously this is a great win.” – Batavia quarterback Micah Coffey, on Batavia’s 49-20 win over rival Geneva on Sept. 13, one week after the Bulldogs lost to Richards “We can’t block him in practice, and I know other teams can’t block him, either. He’s too quick off the ball. He’s too powerful. He can do too many things to you.” – Piron on Bulldogs defensive tackle Ryan Minniti “I heard Anthony Thielk coming down my side, and I slowed down a little bit because I knew he was going to make a big block for me, which he did. He laid that kid out, which set up a free path to the end zone, which was huge for us.” – Michael Moffatt on his 95-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 44-7 win against St. Charles North
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“In the end it was just looking more and more like it was Class 7A, so when it was announced, we were kind of surprised, to be honest with you. Our super math geniuses didn’t figure it out like I thought, but we’re playing an old conference foe, DeKalb, and that should be cool.” – Piron on Batavia being slotted in Class 6A for the playoffs “I have no idea how many yards we rushed for, it seemed like 1,000; really couldn’t stop us.” – Piron on Batavia’s 48-6 win over DeKalb in the opening round of the playoffs “I’ve been playing fullback since fifth grade so I’m pretty used to blocking all of the time and getting the ball every once in a while. I like what I do. (Anthony) Scaccia is one of my best friends, so we have that chemistry.” – Anthony Moneghini on his role on the team “Every game I want to try to utilize my speed for my team. Coach Piron has done a great job with all of us getting our speed up during the offseason, and [offensive coordinator Mike Gaspari] gets me in places where I can use my speed every day.” – Batavia senior receiver/cornerback Rourke Mullins on his big-play capabilities “We’ve had our share of those types of [pass rushers] who have done well but these two kids, it’s like they’re in a battle to get to the quarterback every, single play, and they’re on each side of you. What are you going to do? You can’t really key on one guy.” – Piron on defensive ends Josh Leonhard and Noah Frazier “On this surface, he couldn’t even be himself today. He was a power running back, guys, at 150 pounds. Power football. I mean, it was awesome.” – Piron on Scaccia’s 41 carry, 184 yard outing in Batavia’s 38-6 state semifinal win at Rockford Boylan
“I stayed up texting to [running back Anthony Scaccia] late that night, just about how we were going to work for everything we got. We kind of realized that if we wanted to compete with a team that was that good, it’s going to take everything we’ve got. We can’t just expect to walk on the field and beat teams. So that kind of triggered in all of our minds that it was time for us to turn it up another notch and really take our game to the next level, and you can kind of see what happened the rest of the year.” – Coffey, on the aftermath of losing to Richards in Week 2 “Just to come out and play the way I did [this year], it was really pleasing for me, and saying a thank you for the team, almost.” – Moffatt on the way his teammates helped him through his medical adversity as a junior “I think he kind of took it to heart … ‘When the ball’s in my hands, it’s going to stay in my hands.’ The way he was able to run just relentlessly [in the championship game] yet still hold onto the ball, it’s amazing. He’s one of the best football players I’ve ever seen.” – Coffey, on Scaccia going without a fumble for 12 straight games after losing the ball against Richards in Week 2 “It’s all about mentality, I think. Ambition is priceless. And we have so much ambition. We weren’t going to lose. I knew we weren’t going to lose. We were not going to lose at anything. I know coming into the championship game, for how much we wanted it, there was no way. No team was going to stop us. We just have so much heart and a great community, so I’m glad we won it for them, and for us.” – Scaccia, after Bulldogs’ 34-14 state championship win over Richards
The Batavia football teamâ€™s 2013 state championship season, by the numbers:
Batavia against Tri-Cities rivals Geneva, St. Charles East and St. Charles North.
13: Number of victories for Batavia, most in school history. 25: Number of combined sacks for junior defensive ends Noah Frazier (13) and Josh Leonhard (12). .641: Season completion percentage for Batavia quarterback Micah Coffey, who was 166 for 259 passing on the year.
2: Number of notable political salutes Bataviaâ€™s football team earned for its state championship. Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said at a City Council meeting that the robust celebration of the teamâ€™s return from Huskie Stadium â€œspoke to the heart of what this town is all about,â€? while U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren lauded Batavia in a speech on the House floor, mentioning Coffey, Scaccia and Bulldogs coach Dennis Piron by name.
11: Number of Batavia victories out of 13 that came by 20 or more points.
17: Number of interceptions snared by Bataviaâ€™s defense, led by five from Moffatt and four by Rourke Mullins.
140-41: Combined margin of victory for
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1: Number of football state titles in Batavia program history. The 2013 Bulldogs became the first Tri-Cities football program to win a state football championship.
34-3: Pironâ€™s record as head coach in his first three years as Bulldogs coach.
9: Consecutive weeks Batavia scored 44 or more points, beginning with a 49-20 win against Geneva on Sept. 13 and continuing through a 48-13 second-round playoff win over Rolling Meadows on Nov. 9.
5,827: Total yards gained by Bataviaâ€™s offense, 3,221 coming on the ground and 2,602 through the air.
96: Number of yards of record-setting 6A championship touchdown reception between Coffey and Michael Moffatt that put Batavia ahead of Richards, 14-0, after Howie Morganoâ€™s extra point.
1,913: Rushing yards for senior Anthony Scaccia, leading to 28 rushing touchdowns. He also had seven receiving TDs.
107: Team-leading tackle total for middle linebacker Anthony Thielk, despite Thielk missing time during the regular season with an injury.
Batavia quarterback Micah Coffey keeps the ball during the Bulldogsâ€™ closest playoff game, a 19-14 home win over Lake Forest in the 6A quarterfinals. Photo by Sean King
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CLAIRE JACOBI Editor’s note: Batavia High School senior Claire Jacobi spent the season on the sidelines with the Batavia football team. The following is a reflection of some of her favorite moments of the Bulldogs’ state championship season. As a senior in high school, I am so fortunate to have spent the past five months with the Batavia Football team. What an exciting experience it has been. From the sidelines, I got an up close and personal look at how a team works together and supports each other. It’s interesting to watch how the coaches interact with the players, and how the players interact with each other on and off the field. The boys worked hard all season, starting with summer camp in June and pushing all the way through until Nov. 30. After playoffs started, the saying “One more week” became an extra addition to “ALL IN.” Being able to observe the pregame meetings has been one of the best parts of this experience. I will always remember the game against Rockford Boylan, the last playoff game before state. Before the team took the field, each of the captains spoke, sharing some powerful words. Rourke Mullins’ talk stands out in my mind, and I asked him about it later. “The ideas just come to you when you’re talking in front of your team. For me I just talked about things I had been thinking about all week and then when you add the emotion you have before the game, it all comes together,” Mullins said. The coaches have also left a similar mark on me each week. Coach Piron, Coach Gaspari and Coach Holm put a smile and the occasional tear on my face every week, and have inspired me with their motivational words. This team is so deserving of this championship. I can’t express how special these guys are and how great they have been toward me. All of them have been so welcoming of a girl being “part of the team.” During the games, both the coaches and players would lean over and check up on me to see what I was writing about. One of my favorite parts was when one of the coaches would say “PASS CALL! TELL EVERYONE!” and the boys would look at me and say, “CLAIRE! PASS CALL!” It was hilarious, and I loved that they included me. I talked to some of the boys about their favorite memories from the season, as well. “Beating Geneva on their field was pretty sweet and putting up 40 points in the first half against East was also great, but most of my favorite memories come from just being with the guys and hanging around with them every day,” quarterback Micah Coffey said. The whole town of Batavia has been behind these boys all season, especially the families of the players. Some of the boys expressed how much their family support has meant to them throughout the season. “My family is very special to me. Throughout this whole run they have been my number one fans, especially my dad,” running back Anthony Scaccia said. “I think it calms me down during the game knowing that they are there and knowing after the game I’ll be able to come home and see them watching highlights.” The support was definitely there on November 30, 2013, the day of the state championship. Walking onto the field at state was absolutely incredible, and the roar of 15,000 Batavians cheering together made it all the more special.
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“I loved holding the bulldog before walking into NIU. Standing next to everyone and waiting to take the field was awesome,” said Dean Simoncelli. When the clock hit the 5-minute mark in the fourth quarter, the outcome became very clear. The Batavia Bulldogs were the IHSA 6A State Champions. I looked around at all the boys’ faces, and I could see it in their eyes. Their dreams had just come true. “When Micah took the final knee, I couldn’t help but put my hands on my head and shed a tear while Anthony (Moneghini) came over and picked me up over his shoulders. It was the best feeling in the world,” Scaccia said.
Congratulations Batavia Bulldogs!
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ON WINNING THE IHSA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!
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