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Football (Boys Varsity) Cathedral High School

Irish Football Awarded NFF Hatchell Cup For Academic Excellence & Community Service

By Tyler McClure | Feb 6, 2024 11:21 AM

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, has been named the 2023-24 recipient of the NFF Hatchell Cup, presented by "The Original" Bob's Steak & Chop House. The award recognizes the Fighting Irish as the top high school football team in the nation for excellence in the classroom, on the field and in the community, and it comes with a $10,000 donation from Bob's to support the football program. "The NFF is proud to present the Hatchell Cup to Cathedral High School," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. "All of the school's players, coaches, administrators and their families should be incredibly proud of the team's accomplishments. We hope by inspiring teams to compete in the classroom with the same competitive spirit that it takes to win on the field, we will better prepare high school football players for success later in life." Cathedral was chosen from the 56 teams recognized earlier this month as the state winners of the 2023-24 NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards, Presented by the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, from their respective divisions of play. Cathedral and the state winners, who created the pool of finalists for the Hatchell Cup, were selected by the individual state high school coaches associations from nominations submitted by each school's head coach. A national selection committee, assembled and overseen by the NFF, was responsible for choosing Cathedral as the winner of the 2024 Hatchell Cup. The NFF will make the official presentation of the trophy at a time and place to be determined this spring. "We are extremely proud to congratulate our first national champion, Indianapolis Cathedral," said Bob Gaddis, the executive director of the Indiana Football Coaches Association. "A special congratulations to Coach Billy Peeples and his staff for making academic excellence as important as wins and losses… It is a tremendous honor to be included in such an elite group of football programs around the country. The excitement and recognition this creates for the schools and communities that these student-athletes represent is amazing. It makes the sacrifices of these student-athletes all worth it." Led by Head Coach Bill Peebles, the 2023 Irish team boasted an impressive 3.65 GPA while making a deep postseason run and finishing No. 4 in the Class 6A Indiana Football Coaches Association rankings after an appearance in the Class 6A Regional Playoff. The Irish won the Class 6A, Section Title, finishing the season at 8-4 with all four losses coming against the top teams in the state. Of the 163 players on the roster, 142 made the honor roll during the first quarter of the year, and 20 of the 30 seniors qualified for the Indiana Football Coaches Association Academic All-State Team. Eleven seniors were inducted into the National Honor Society, and the team boasted 57 players who enrolled in advanced placement classes. The team earned back-to-back accolades as NFF 6A Indiana winner of the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award. Learn more about the NFF Hatchell Cup -

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