COLDWATER, Mich --
The turnaround of the Coldwater football program is about to come full circle as the Cardinals set to play St. Joseph in a division three regional championship game.
"St. Joe was out first game," said senior quarterback Luke Beckhusen. "They were a big opponent and going into that game we knew it was going to be a hard fought battle and we came in and we did pretty good for how good they were and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the season."
That game took place week one in 2013 with Coldwater losing, but they went on to make the playoffs for the first time in program history that year, snapping a streak of 23 straight losing seasons. Just two short years later the Cardinals are undefeated and outscoring opponents by an average of 24 points per game, transforming Coldwater into a football town.
"It's awesome to play under the lights with that huge crowd supporting us," said junior running back Sam DeMeester. "It's a loud crowd and everyone gets into it and it's completely different than it was a couple years ago."
The man behind the success of the Cardinals knows exactly what it takes to win at Coldwater. Head coach Jeff Schorfhaaf was the quarterback of the 1986 team, which wat the last team to win a conference title before this years squad also achieved the feat.
"Playing in the 80's, we were pretty tough," said Schorfhaar. "You knew when you came to Coldwater you were going to get a good football game, and that is something that I wanted to reestablish here. I wanted teams to know when they came to Coldwater they are in for a football game. Every coach dreams of going undefeated and things like that, we just laid the foundation blocks and the kids took it form there."
In a season of firsts, Coldwater can add a first regional championship trophy to the list with a win at Dickinson Stadium in St. Joseph on Friday night.