Prep Football

Xavier football setting new standard on new field

HS journalism: Saints keep winning on turf after years on grass

Xavier senior captain Nick Banowetz (11) tackles Regina’s Alec Wick during the first game on the Saints’ new turf field on Aug. 30. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Xavier senior captain Nick Banowetz (11) tackles Regina’s Alec Wick during the first game on the Saints’ new turf field on Aug. 30. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Xavier football program has created a legacy, a legacy of countless home wins on a grass surfaced field.

On Aug. 30, a new era began on the new turf field.

On Dec. 19, Xavier High School announced, with donations from multiple benefactors, a turf field would be put on Saints Field.

“I thought it was very generous of the donors. They are true saints,” Head coach Duane Schulte said.

Multiple Xavier coaches were there when they originally placed the grass field.

“I was there for the original and the updated crown. Coach O’Connell, other coaches and I along with players at that time helped lay the grass,” Schulte said. “Coach Reggie Schulte was five years old and helped put a little bit down, too. I had my son, Bryce, in a stroller on the track and I would go check on him, put turf down, go back, check on him then put more turf down.”

Players and coaches are thankful for the donations and the donors.

“It is a fun surface to play on,” senior Nick Banowetz said.

The Saints opened their new field in style, defeating Iowa City Regina, 35-0.

“Getting the first win on this field is like any win on any field. Very grateful our players executed,” Schulte said. “Getting any win is hard to do, so I’m always appreciative of the efforts of everyone associated with Xavier football whenever we get a win.”

As a team, the Saints’ goal is to get better every week and become a better team.

“We have to work as hard as we can and leave nothing out on the field,” senior Jakob Forslund said. “I’m looking forward to playing another season with my brothers.”

The Saints are led by senior captains Banowetz, Forslund, Ethan Hurkett and Josh Volk.

“It is our job to show others how to be a Xavier football player,” Banowetz said. “We have a lot of good leaders on our team, so we have plenty of kids that can show others what that looks like.”

The players see leadership as a key element for the team as a whole.

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“... I like to remind my teammates each day that we do not have one leader, we are all leaders,” senior Tyler Dupont said.

The Saints are 4-0 and ranked second in Class 3A heading into Friday’s home game against Maquoketa. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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