Mayor Andy Cook recognizes football team for winning 5A state championship

The Westfield High School football team won the Class 5A state championship game Nov. 26. (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

The Westfield High School football team won the Class 5A state championship game Nov. 26. (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

By Anna Skinner

After its 16-13 win over Columbus East, Westfield High School’s football team has elicited plenty of recognition from the community, the latest of which came from Mayor Andy Cook, who presented a proclamation to Head Coach Jake Gilbert and some members of the 140-man football team and five female managers at the city council meeting Dec. 12.

“Westfield schools have a top graduation rate, top test scores, and now we add to it the athletics,” Cook said during the proclamation. “You boys and ladies have put Westfield on the map for football.”

Gilbert shared sentiments of his six years on staff, and the hopes he had since he arrived at Westfield for the football team.

“We only won that game by three points, so every little gesture along the way, every little bit of work put in along the way mattered,” he said. “They have sacrificed so much, and I think if you knew the amount of public service they do, whether it be Special Olympics or food pantries, all the things they have done off the field that no one even knows, you would be way more proud of them for that than to know they are the best 5A team in the state.”

In addition to accepting the proclamation, Gilbert also commented that seven of the 40 seniors on the team were named Academic All-Stars. Although he didn’t name the members because those students were not aware of the accomplishments themselves, Gilbert did highlight the requirements to be considered an Academic All-Star. The requirements include high grade point averages and test scores as well as performing in 70 percent of game snaps.

Throughout the year, the football team has worked out more times with weightlifting, running and on the field than there are days in the year.