GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When it comes to tradition, Grand Rapids Catholic Central and South Christian know plenty about upholding a standard of excellence. The two teams have been and continue to be some of the most successful programs in the state, with multiple state titles between the two teams. 

Catholic Central has made 14 straight playoff appearances and won three-straight State Championships. The Cougars are also riding a 42-game win streak. Success has been the expectation for the Cougars, but last week they were reminded about everything the program stands for. 

“We had alumni weekend for homecoming, and I have tours of the school to some of the alumni, and I met a Division 1 football player that played at Michigan — didn’t know he went to catholic central,” Catholic Central senior Ryan Eastland said. “Apparently he’s in the hall of fame, so there’s a lot of great and storied names with this program and it definitely feels special to know that when you’re putting on a uniform that says Catholic — you’re not just playing for the last 20 years, you’re playing for the last 100 plus years of some amazing people that have been here and it’s truly something special that I’ve never experienced somewhere before.” 

South Christian has its own standard of success, with the program winning three State Championships in the last 10 years. It’s something head coach Danny Brown knows well. He played for the Sailors in 2001 and 2002, and caught a touchdown pass when they won the State Title game back in 2002. Now, the undefeated Sailors have their sights set on winning their first State Title since 2014, and being the first team to beat the Cougars since 2019.