Stop number 5 took MaxPreps and the Tour of Champions to Cedar Rapids, IA to honor the Xavier Saints. Tempertures in Iowa had plummeted to near single digits, but the atmosphere inside the Xavier High School gymnasium told a different story.
Cedar Rapids Xavier is unlike the majority of the schools that we have honored over the past two years. For one, Xavier is the first school that we have honored in the state of Iowa. Secondly, Xavier is an extremely small school (around 750 students) in comparison to other schools that we have visited - some with student populations upwards of 4,000. And when you think about the percentage of quality talent that Xavier Football generates as compared to its overall enrollment, the production is unparalleled.
The ceremony itself took place at the halftime of the Boys varsity basketball game. With the whole Xavier team taking the court, representatives from Iowa High School Athletic Association, MaxPreps, and the Iowa Army National Guard all had their share to say about the accomplishments of the Saints. LTC Todd Jacobus of the Iowa Army National Guard reflected upon the teamwork necessary to take home the championship this year. Furthermore, LTC Jacobus commented on the fact that the team has played and succeeded at the highest competitive level, 4A, despite being classified as a smaller school.
Finally, as MaxPreps representative Chris Brethel had mentioned to the Xavier fans, "Iowa may often be overlooked regarding its high school football teams - but personally, I don't know how anyone can overlook a team that goes undefeated, wins the 4A State Championship, and gives up a grand total of 88 points the entire season!"
...maybe bigger isn't necessarily better in high school football