SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Central High School celebrated their Division One State Football Championship Tuesday morning.

Spirits were high at Central High School as the city honored the team for their championship win. Mayor Sarno officially declared Tuesday Springfield Central Golden Eagles day in the city.

“Twenty years from now, it’s going to hit them what they’ve accomplished, so they’ve made Springfield very very proud,” said Mayor Sarno.

Mayor Sarno officially declared Tuesday Springfield Central Golden Eagles Day in the city. Central High School’s Golden Eagles win made it their third consecutive state championship title but this time it was their first Division 1 win. They beat Central Catholic High out of Lawrence 22-15 for the title. The game took place at Gillette Stadium.

Springfield Central’s Quarterback, Will “Pop” Watson III, won the MaxPreps Massachusetts High School Football Player of the Year award, “It means a lot honestly, we don’t really get too much recognition, it was just our parents and us. We was going everywhere and it was just us. But now that we have the city behind us it gives us fuel to our fire.”

Coach William Watson talked about how people doubted them being a city team but they proved themselves moving up from Division 3 to Division 1. They took two loses at the beginning of the season but coach said it only made them work harder to prove themselves.

“Anytime that you put in that type of work, that you work as hard as this school and these kids have worked and then you’re rewarded at the end, it’s a phenomenal feeling,” said Coach Watson. “Marching forward and this is the outcome, so everyone who laughed during the ING game, we get the last laugh and we’re very proud about that.”

“I knew it was going to happen, they didn’t believe me, so I had to show them. Coming from the inner city we’re doubted a lot so going out there and showing what we can do, it meant a lot to me.”

Will “Pop” Watson III, Springfield Central’s Quarterback

Next for the team is starting all over again. They said they want to make it to the championships every year and now they get to work.

Mayor states, “We are so proud of our Scholar Athletes on our Central High football team on this outstanding victory to bring home the State Division I Football Championship by defeating another Eastern Mass power Central Catholic 22-15.  This win makes it three consecutive state titles for our Golden Eagles.  Congratulations to Coach Brower, interim coach Bill Watson, the team, Principal Tokarz and Athletic Director Dwayne Early.  You proved, again, that you are truly the home of Scholars and Champions!  We are Springfield proud and I am looking forward to celebrating and honoring you at Central High School.” 

“Special congratulations are also in order for Coach Brower on being named UMass Defensive Line Coach – we will miss you Coach and we’ll be rooting for you up at UMass Amherst. And congrats too for new Interim Coach Bill Watson as well as QB Will ‘Pop’ Watson III on winning the MaxPreps Massachusetts High School Football Player of the Year award. Continued success to all on and off the field.  Good health and what a great holiday gift you brought home.  God Bless.”