Reicher football coach Mark Waggoner’s office used to have walls full of the kind of memorabilia that every coach collects.
His old college jersey, pictures of the family, a game ball from a district championship and one newspaper clipping from the season that it all came together for a state title.
These days, though, Waggoner’s office is filling up with the stuff of a dynasty.
The Reicher Cougars, despite returning only a handful of starters from their state championship team of 2008, ascended the TAPPS Division III ranks once again this fall to claim their third straight title.
Which means less office space for Waggoner. Not that he minds.
“I’m getting to design this trophy where we’re going to put the three years together,” Waggoner said. “I’m going to bring back the seniors from those teams and do a big group photo. It’s neat to see those guys get together and say, ‘I remember when you were a sophomore, you little squirt.’ Seeing those guys and how it really means more to them to see the guy that they helped win it than themselves — it’ll choke you up when you see it.”
Reicher’s 2009 season unfolded with a staggering crescendo at the end.
After a 1-3 start and a three-game losing streak in September, the Cougars responded by winning their next 10 by an average of 33.5 points.
It didn’t come easy, though, especially in the championship game. Reicher defeated Bullard Brook Hill, 35-28, in a contest the Cougars won behind an offensive line that earned title-game MVP honors.
“I decided early on that, ‘We ain’t throwing the ball tonight, baby,’ ” Waggoner said. “We we’re going to run the ball down their throat.”
With senior quarterback Matt Hicks leading the way with 255 rushing yards and three touchdowns, the Cougars plowed their way to a third title and the 10th state championship in school history.
Reicher, having won a state title in 2004 to go along with its latest run of three straight, definitely put its stamp on this decade.
“It’s unbelievable,” Waggoner said in the moments following the latest state title victory. “There’s a tie that binds the last three state championship teams together. This one is cool because it went to the wire and was the most exciting for the fans. We beat a good football team.”