Celebrating the Cardinals
It’s been over a month since the North Central College Cardinals won the NCAA Division III National Championship at the Stagg Bowl for the very first time, but the celebration continues.
“It was a sense of accomplishment. You don’t really realize it until you get in those moments how much had gone into that and just to see the dreams of not just us, but a bunch of people for us. It was just awesome for not only us, but the entire community,” said football player Bryan Beauchamp.
The City of Naperville kicked the festivities off with a processional led by the Naperville Police and Fire departments, starting at fire station 7 and making their way through town.
“It’s been so encouraging and gratifying to see the response we’ve had from the community too with what we were able to do,” said head football coach Jeff Thorne.
Rally to Honor Their Win
The champs were surrounded by cheers as they entered Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium for the rally held in their honor to celebrate their 41-14 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on December 20.
“We set out a goal from day one and we all put in the extra time, extra hours, extra practices to make this happen and when we finally did it, it was just a relief that all the hard work finally paid off,” said football player Alexander Rose. “And when you’re doing something with the people you love, it’s just so much fun and it just means something else. I’m tearing up a little bit now, it’s my last year so it’s wild.”
College president Troy D. Hammond, head football coach Jeff Thorne, and athletic director Jim Miller spoke a few words about the team’s accomplishment, while Mayor Steve Chirico presented a proclamation to the football program on behalf of the city.
Though this is the college’s first national title in football, North Central has earned 40 national titles in a variety of sports.
Congratulations to the North Central Cardinals!
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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