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Over the last 30-plus years, it’s been a lot of fun to watch, be part of, root for, take pictures of and cover the best football teams Havre de Grace has had to offer.

When the Warriors won their first state title in 1978, a 13-0 shutout of Snow Hill, I was a mere freshman, all 5-foot something, 90-some pounds of me.

A soccer player by day and drummer by Friday nights, I took in the championship moment in Cambridge in a band uniform and it was quite cold from what I remember.

Three years later, a senior and still 5-foot-something and probably 98 pounds soaking wet, I had stopped the soccer playing and was asked to aid the football team in a non-player role.

I accepted it and boy did we have fun that fall of 1981.

With current Warriors head coach John Brooks at quarterback and University of Nebraska-bound Novell Jackson at running back, we were crowned state champions on our own then-Tomahawk Field with a 27-12 win over Middletown.

Then in 1985, a string of four straight state title game appearances was enjoyed by the Warriors and their fans at the University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium. As a 1982 graduate, I was a fan, but also a photographer for The Record newspaper in those days.

It was 1985, on a dreary, rainy and somewhat foggy day, the Warriors were edged by James M. Bennett 7-6.

A year later, the Warriors were not to be denied as they trounced Walkersville 36-8, finishing off an improbable run in the playoffs.

The Warriors came into the playoffs that year with an at-large berth and beat both Hancock and top-seeded Easton on their own grassy turfs.

In 1987 the Warriors just didn’t have enough for a repeat, losing to Milford Mill 28-18.

Then in 1988, Havre de Grace had yet another tight and heartbreaking loss, 19-14 to Smithsburg.

Talk about coming close to dynasty, it’s pretty simple math. Just 16 points stand between three more state titles which could have given the Warriors four straight.

Throw in state semifinal losses in 1979 and 1984 and you’re talking about a decade of near dominance.

Since those glory days the Warriors have made two additional appearances in the semifinals. Once in 1995 and the other just a few years ago in 2006.

That 2006 loss, a lopsided one at Fort Hill, 57-14, is part of this latest surge by the Warriors football program.

Going back to the turn of the century, the Warriors have made some kind of mark in the playoffs in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and now in 2010.

There are no state titles to show or even a spot in a state title game since 1988, but this Saturday that drought will come to an end.

Will the Warriors bring home a fourth state football title to the city of Havre de Grace and county of Harford? As I’ve written before, only time will tell.

Win or lose, this group has made us Havre de Gracians proud. Go get a state title boys, you deserve one.

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