Attitude carries Central Catholic football team
By Michelle Castleman
FORT WAYNE — “I feel the biggest highlight for the Central Catholic football team was the attitude of the players. Throughout the season, no matter the outcome of the game on Sunday, the kids came to practice on Tuesday ready to improve as individuals and most importantly, as a team. They were a team of unselfish young men,” explained Coach Mathew Tsuleff of Central Catholic.
He continued, “From the beginning of the season to the end, I saw a group of kids that didn’t know each other from the start, but grew into a team that makes up Central Catholic. I am very proud of these young men — not just for playing football, but for successfully juggled academics while practicing football. Well done gentlemen!”
Along with the parents for their unwavering support of the team and of the program, Tsuleff had much gratitude for his Central Catholic players.
“These players had a spirit of never giving up, a never quit attitude and a leave it all on the field mentality,” he insisted.
Besides 20 less on the roster from a year ago, Tsuleff and his staff faced many hurdles this season including combining the attitudes and philosophies of the four different schools — St. Jude, St. John the Baptist, New Haven, Most Precious Blood and Queen of Angels — which formed their team.
In their second year, the Irish are continuing to grow and learn. With the decreased numbers, players were forced to play positions they had never played before, but stepped up and answered the challenge and continued to give 100 percent with positive attitudes. “I feel our student athletes are beginning to understand just how special this program truly is and will be,” explained Tsuleff.
The biggest highlight of the season for the Irish was scoring four times against the No. 1 team in the league, St. Charles. The only team to do so in the league, Central Catholic tallied two touchdowns in the first meeting against the Cards and scored first on them in the playoff game — the first time all season long St. Charles actually played from behind. The team also moved practices this season from Lakeside to Havenhurst — a better facility with its own field, shelter area and restrooms. With more seventh graders on the roster than eighth, the Irish have high hopes for next season.
“I am proud to be part of this growing program,” Tsuleff summarized.