Commitment and camaraderie got the St. Joe Indians to the State Finals.
In 1995, that commitment and camaraderie made them the State Champions.
Two South Bend firefighters, best friends, and football players on that winning team say the excitement is still talked about 12 years later.
On the field in a high school football uniform and years later on the job in a South Bend firefighter uniform, Dan Luther and Jeremy Remble believe it's camaraderie and commitment that equal success.
Remble says, “When you put something together like that and finish a perfect season like that it's just a great feeling.”
He’s talking about his high school years at St. Joe when he was number 74 and Luther was number 54.
Luther says, “Number 54 is the greatest number in St. Joe history.”
They're hoping history repeats itself Saturday, making this year's team State Champions like they were in 1995.
From what they've seen, this team and that team are very similar.
Luther says, “They play for each other and don't want to let each other down and that can be dangerous.”
Remble says, “The leadership is what the teams have in common for sure.”
It's that leadership lesson they learned on the football field that's helped Remble and Luther in the game of life--especially as firefighters.
Remble says, “You've got to count on each other so much.”
They believe the boys will get a taste of that experience when they hit the field Saturday.
Luther says, “I'm really excited for them. I'm the freshman coach now at St. Joe and I've gotten to know them and they've worked hard and deserve it.”
No matter what the score, one thing's for sure, the championship game will always be talked about when you bump into a teammate years later.
Remble says, “You can look across the room and you can just say hey and see in each others' eyes that you guys did something special once.”
There's also a third teammate from 1995 who is now a South Bend firefighter, Shawn Kuminecz. He, Luther and Remble will all be in Indianapolis Saturday watching and waiting for St. Joe to do what they did on the field.