WESTFIELD, NJ – Gretchan Ohlig and fellow board of education members began the new year at Westfield High School on Thursday night by recognizing the school's state champion football team.

“We seem to be making a habit of this, which is a wonderful thing,” Ohlig said of the team’s continued success.

In addition to recalling their narrow victory on Dec. 3 over Bridgewater-Raritan, Ohlig heralded the Blue Devils' remarkable accomplishments during the 2016 season.

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The team tied or broke 20 school records on their way to a 12-0 season while amassing a state-best 25 game winning streak over two years.

Head coach Jim DeSarno was praised by the board and in turn, gave credit to his senior players who maintained a winning precedent for the program.

“It’s not easy to be able to have the type of success we’ve had these past years and this group of seniors, 21 of them, did a wonderful job of bringing us through the highs and lows,” DeSarno said. “We had a lot of adversity this year with some injuries and they were able to keep this team together, keep them focused and keep them having a good time. For as much success we had, we had just as much fun.”

In addition to the individual players, assistant coaches and equipment managers were awarded certificates by Dr. Margaret Dolan, superintendent of Westfield Public Schools.