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Thunderbird's great football run to a state title

by Natalie Rivers

azfamily.com

Posted on December 23, 2010 at 9:25 PM

PHOENIX - For the Thunderbird Chiefs it had been a long time since their football team tasted post season success, but that all ended this fall. Their season was full of drama it was only fitting that the season ended in overtime against a very good Williams Field team. The unsuspecting group of guys was the underdog story of season.

For a school that was founded in 1972, 37 years is a long time to wait to see your team win a state football title. Before this year the last time a Chiefs football team made it to the semi finals was in 1990. The 2010 squad was the first to represent the orange and blue in the finals. Players and coaches weren't admitting it before the game but they definitely felt a little pressure from all those who came before to win the 4A-II state title.

Thunderbird went into the state title game with a ton of tradition on their side. After two, 3-7 seasons the bandwagon was overflowing with current and former students who wanted to be a part of the magical run to a state title. Many coaches were Thunderbird graduates and many of the player's parents attended the school, so winning was special on many levels.

The Chiefs were the underdog all postseason. They were the 13th seed and barely got into the title game after their quarters and semis games went down to the final play. Against Williams Field the game came down to a kick in overtime.

After the kick went through the uprights the celebration was on. Thirty-seven years of players, students and coaches celebrated the most unlikely of this year's state champs.

With many of Thunderbird's stars returning next season Thunderbird hopes they won't have to wait 37 more years to have an opportunity to win another title.

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