As Madison Twp. Administrator Todd Farler joins thousands of local fans watching in awe as the Madison High School football team makes an historic, Final Four run in the Ohio playoffs, his mind occasionally wanders off far from gridiron glory.
Farler sometimes envisions not only a possible state football championship for the beloved miracle Mohawks, who are two victories away from the Division V title, but he also conjures up a symbol that will honor the team for decades and beyond.
Amidst all the playoff excitement, Farler sees a road sign.
But not just any sign, but a bright, colorful sign commemorating this extraordinary Madison squad’s winning ways that no Mohawk football team ever achieved since it started playing in 1960.
“There will be signage put up to recognize these kids because they went above and beyond whatever has been done. The township, the community and the people of our township are just super excited to be part of this,” said Farler, of Madison’s 9,000 residents spaced out over 38 rural, square miles.
A good number of that population Friday will be hitting the road for Chillicothe in Southeast Ohio where they will watch Madison (11-2) play in the state semi-final against Wheelersburg (13-0).
Madison Twp. is a close-knit community, “Norman Rockwell” sort of community, said Farler, and a sign on the township’s main east-west roadway – Ohio 122 – visible to drivers rolling westward over the Great Miami River bridge into Madison from Middletown, is coming soon.
“The township has always been real gracious and worked really well the schools as far as giving proper acknowledgement to the athletes who have come out of Madison High School,” he said.
Also gracious help has been extended from across the Great Miami as Middletown Schools are letting Madison practice in that district’s Barnitz Stadium. Madison is one of the few school systems in Southwest Ohio without an artificial turf football field and all final rounds of Ohio’s playoffs take place on such plastic surfaces.
Nearby Edgewood Schools, themselves past football state-runner-up, also offered up use of their artificial turf field.
It’s all more diagnostic evidence that Mohawk fever has spread throughout Butler County with new fans craving to see more of the tiny school’s underdog, storybook run of greatness.
Middletown School officials said when a neighboring team gets on a historic roll, everyone wants to help.
“We are excited about how well the Madison Mohawks are doing in the playoffs this year,” said George Long, business manager for Middletown Schools. “Madison has always been a great partner with Middletown schools and we were happy to loan our facilities to help them continue on their quest to a state championship.”
Curtis Philpot, superintendent of Madison Schools, said his district is grateful and marvels at the unifying impact of the team’s success.
“The entire Madison community is 100 percent behind the Mohawk football team right now,” said Philpot. “It doesn’t matter if you like Coke or Pepsi, if you are Democrat or Republican or if you watch CBS or ABC news, right now, we are all Mohawk fans.”
VIDEO: See where the now famous Madison Mohawks football team’s sign will stand and watch the team practice in Middletown Schools’ Barnitz Stadium @journal-news.com
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