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Zach Bock and his Novi Detroit Catholic Central teammates played for the memory of David Widzinski Saturday in the state semifinals, where CC pounded Detroit Cass Tech 28-0. Widzinski was a starting linebacker on the Shamrocks 2012 team that lost to Cass Tech in the state finals. (For The Oakland Press/CHRIS WALL)


FOOTBALL: Memory of Widzinski inspires Catholic Central in redemption-earning 'W' over Cass Tech

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TROY – That one was for David.

Registering the performance of a lifetime for their fallen brother, the Novi Detroit Catholic Central Shamrocks buried their demons of the past by brutally dissecting a stacked Detroit Cass Tech squad, 28-0, in the Division 1 final four Saturday afternoon at Troy Athens.

To the entire Shamrocks’ program, the win honors the memory of David Widzinski, a starting linebacker on last year’s Catholic Central club that lost to Cass Tech in the state championship game for the second straight year and then passed away of an undiagnosed heart ailment only days later.

“We’re playing for David, he’s our heart and soul,” said junior middle linebacker Jordan Jenkins following the shutout.

Jenkins was a classmate of Widzinski’s and has taken his place in the Shamrocks’ line-up, posting the kind of season his former teammate would be proud of.

Widzinski had been slated to start in the middle of the team’s linebacker unit this fall. Last season, he was the only sophomore starter on the roster and had a breakout effort in the state finals, recording a game-high 16 tackles.

In Widzinski’s stead, Jenkins has stepped to the forefront of the Catholic Central defense and is the squad’s leading-tackler. On Saturday, he tallied 10 tackles and was in constant pursuit of the ball, anchoring a complete demoralizing of Michigan State-bound Jayru Campbell, Cass Tech's all-state field general and the Shamrocks primary tormenter the last two years.

The entire week leading up to Saturday’s semifinal, Catholic Central felt galvanized by a specific memory of Widzinski in the wake of last year’s defeat at Ford Field.

“David came back to the locker room after the loss in the state championship game and made a promise to the team and the coaching staff that we were going to beat Cass Tech before he graduated,” senior co-captain Zach Bock recalled. “We got this win for him.”

Dylan Roney, the Shamrocks’ other senior co-captain, echoed the same sentiments.

“It’s all for David,” he said. “We were fighting for him today.”

Prior to Catholic Central’s season-opener back in August, the Shamrocks dedicated the entire 2013 campaign to Widzinski, creating the mantra, “All in for 33,” a reference to Widzinski’s jersey number.

Bock tilted his head to the sky as he walked triumphantly off the field Saturday, contentment and satisfaction spread wide across his face

“I’m sure David’s looking down and smiling on us right now,” he said.

There’s no doubt he was.

And Catholic Central did him justice in the manner in which it competed;




In other words, Widzinski football. Catholic Central football.

R.I.P. David.

You were and are remembered. Forever.

Last Updated: 11/25/2013 1:45:19 AM EST

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