Gov. Holcomb thanks the Valparaiso Vikings football team “for making history” at Valparaiso High School’s celebratory assembly
Last November, the Valparaiso High School football team did the unimaginable when they beat Whiteland 35-31 and brought home the state championship—the Vikings' first state championship win in 47 years. On Tuesday, February 21, Indiana’s state elected officials decided it was high time to commend the team on its great accomplishment. Gov. Eric Holcomb, Sen. Ed Charbonneau, and Rep. Ed Soliday all came out to VHS’ celebratory assembly to praise the team for their success and, more importantly, thank them for being an inspiration to many.
There’s no greater way to congratulate someone than by giving them a House Concurrent Resolution. Soliday did exactly that when he and Charbonneau started off the assembly by presenting a resolution to the VHS football team.
The Vikings cheered as Soliday read off the resolution to them, recounting their underdog story and their triumphant win. The room cheered especially loud when Charbonneau took to the microphone and exclaimed the resolution’s final remark.
“This is for the North!” said Charbonneau.
Afterward, Bill Marshall, VHS’ head football coach, dove a little deeper into what went down last football season. He shared how his team faced many obstacles at every turn, but in the end, managed to come together as a team and achieve the unexpected.
“We lost more regular season games than we have in the last three years combined. We were hammered by injuries to our senior leaders and starters. We trailed going into the fourth quarter of both the semi-state and state championship games. However, with each and every hurdle thrown at us, we not only cleared them but did so in an unbelievable fashion,” said Marshall.
Marshall and his senior captains graciously accepted the resolution with pride and excitement written on their faces.
Last but not least, Holcomb took the stage. Holcomb is the first governor to ever visit VHS, so it meant a great deal to everyone in the room that he wanted to come. Holcomb explained, though, that it meant even more to him to get to meet the young men who had inspired him.
“You brought it every single day, and then you brought home the championship, and that makes me not just proud, but inspired. It was your story that brought me here,” said Holcomb.
Holcomb initially joked that the team should get a movie made about them and their story, but what started out as a joke quickly became a heartfelt wish.
“Their story truly deserves to stand alongside other famous Indiana underdog stories. It was just made for the big screen–I can already see all the actors and their prominent roles. Those young men now have firsthand knowledge that they can determine their own destinies, and I think that’s a lesson many people throughout Indiana can take note of,” said Holcomb.
Holcomb closed his speech by thanking the Vikings for being such strong role models and proving to everyone how a little bit of persistence and grit can go a long way.
“Thank you for making history. Thank you for doing it the right way. Sometimes it’s the long way, sometimes it’s the hard way, but you did it the right way, and what you’ve achieved will live on forever. The state of Indiana needs champions, the state of Indiana needs team players, the state of Indiana needs people who know they have a role in our state’s success—we need each and every one of you, said Holcomb.
To thank the senator, representative, and governor for coming, the football team gave them each a championship helmet. Everyone on the team was incredibly honored to be recognized, and couldn’t thank the officials enough for their support.
“We are extremely humbled by the recognition that we have received from our local officials, especially Mayor Murphy’s office. We are equally humbled today that Representative Soliday, State Senator Charbonneau, and Governor Holcomb have taken the time to come here and recognize our 2022 championship campaign,” said Marshall.
After the assembly ended, Holcomb took a short tour of the school and spent some time talking with the students and teachers about their different programs. It was a great bonding experience for all involved.
Ultimately, the day was a wonderful experience not just for the students, but for Indiana’s officials as well. It gave everyone the opportunity to come together and celebrate the values of hard work, persistence, and teamwork, and that is a gift that won’t be easily forgotten.
To learn more about Valparaiso High School, visit https://valparaisohigh.valpo.k12.in.us/.