WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino visited Archbishop Stepinac High School on Friday to congratulate the varsity football team with a proclamation, declaring Archbishop Stepinac Football Day throughout Westchester County. Stepinac completed an undefeated season by winning the 2015 Catholic High School Athletic Association New York State championship, defeating St. Francis of Buffalo 42-28.
“The Crusaders 2015 championship shows the true character of every player and coach on this team and is a testament to their hard work,” Astorino said. “As terrific as the team played, and as proud of them as we are, the championship is a stepping stone. With this win, these students are reminded that they will accomplish great things if they strive for them.”
Fr. Tom Collins, president of Archbishop Stepinac High School, said the school is honored to have the county’s recognition counted among its accolades.
“On behalf of our championship Crusaders football team, its coaching staff and the entire Stepinac student body, faculty and staff, I want to express the deepest appreciation we all feel for County Executive Rob Astorino for having honored us in this very special way,” Fr. Collins said. “We will forever treasure his historic proclamation of December 18 as ‘Archbishop Stepinac Football Day.’”
Astorino also presented a proclamation to Mike O’Donnell, head coach and athletic director at Archbishop Stepinac High School. O’Donnell led the football team back to the state championship game for the second consecutive year. During his 28-year career as head coach, the Crusaders have also won 5 division championships, 4 AA championships, and 2 AAA championships.
“How thrilling and fitting it was for County Executive Rob Astorino to congratulate our victorious Crusaders and coaching staff in the presence of all the students, teachers, administrators and friends of Stepinac,” Coach O’Donnell said. “It was a memorable finale to the team’s history-making championship season.”
During the student assembly, Stepinac alumnus and Super Bowl champion Bob Hyland (Class of ’63) presented his alma mater with an NFL 50th Anniversary Golden Football.