The Golden Ram Football Club held its annual banquet honoring the top players and performances from the year gone by. This year’s event had a historic feel to it, as the winningest senior class in West Chester history came together for one final curtain call. Awards were distributed; seniors gave misty farewell speeches, all with one eye toward a future that appears brighter by the day. In voting by his teammates, Brent Steinmetz was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player. The senior captain amassed 903 yards and fifteen touchdowns from the tailback position in 2006. “We don’t get to where we get to without Brent, and that’s why the kids all voted him as our most valuable player,” Head Coach Bill Zwaan said of the all conference back.
Steinmetz along with fellow captains Chris Tagye, David Montgomery and Mark Maynard gave moving farewell speeches, thanking their coaches, teammates, school administrator’s and perhaps most importantly their parents.
While it is true that this group will leave behind 35 wins, countless memories and a void in leadership that will be nearly impossible to replace, they will also leave behind a program that is on better footing then when they arrived. Three consecutive playoff appearances and a trip to the National Semi-Finals will do that for you. Yet in the grand scheme of things this class was about so much more then just wins and losses.
“They are tremendously class guys, great leaders and captains” Zwaan said of the four. To say this group fought through adversity would be an understatement as four of the five captains suffered season ending leg injuries, Montgomery was the only one to escape this fate. “It’s very tough that the injuries happened in their senior year. They never quit, never gave up on their teammates and were an inspiration to the younger guys, I’m sad that they didn’t finish it up the way they wanted to. I know what they gave to the program will be hard to replace”
Zwaan will not have to look far for his next crop of leaders, as 20 of 22 starters will be returning in the fall.
“I think the success is going to continue,” Steinmetz said of where he thinks the program goes from here. “If you look at who’s leaving and who’s returning this team is still stacked for next year. I’m actually kind of jealous that they have one more opportunity to take it all the way [to a National Championship]. I’m excited to see what they can do next year.”
This group has the unique opportunity to walk together forever as the winningest graduating class in school history. Aspirations are high though that next year’s class will enjoy countless banquets such as the one Saturday, while celebrating a NCAA Division II Championship.