By Ken Thoma
Special to The Witness
GILBERTVILLE — Don Bosco Central Catholic High School of Gilbertville, which has been noted for its wrestling teams, has developed a powerhouse football program as well. On Nov. 12, the school played for the class eight-man football championship for the third time in four years. The outcome was just short of another state championship when it lost 52-57, and the school finished the season at 11-1. Don Bosco won the state championship two years ago after also finishing second the prior year.
This starting team, which includes 11 seniors, has won 49 of its last 52 football games. From a humble beginning in football, which was just started at the high school in the fall of 2004, when Don Bosco did not win a game in its first two seasons, the school is quickly making its presence known in Iowa. It was just a few years ago that the school built its own stadium. In 2011, the school found out it would no longer be able to rent facilities from another school with the move to eight-man football. The parents, alumni and community came together to raise funds to build a football field which debuted in 2012. Prior to the Friday night games, the award-winning marching band walks the three-quarters of a mile to the stadium at the edge of town. This past spring, a limestone track was added around the field to give the track team a safe place to practice. There are 121 students in all four grades of high school, of which 38 young men played on this year’s team. Eighteen of the football athletes will also wrestle.
Each week during the school year, the Friday morning Mass, celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church by Father Henry Huber, is attended by both grade and high school students, with the athletes wearing their colorful game jerseys to church. Before each game the team and the coaches take a knee and join in a prayer.
This story is provided courtesy of The Witness, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.