Editor’s note: This issue of the newspaper marks the beginning of the Winona Times and The Conservative's coverage of the top five sports stories for the 2019-20 school year for Winona High School, J.Z. George High School, Winona Christian School, and Carroll Academy. The top five stories for each school have been chosen and we will count them down each week from No. 5 to No. 1. Suggestions were requested from the coaches, administrators, school supporters and the general public.
Greenville St. Joseph was the preseason favorite to win the MAIS Class 3A state championship in football this past season.
With two Division I football players in the backfield, the Irish ran wild on MAIS opponents all season. That was until they met Carroll Academy in the third round of the playoffs.
The Rebels gave the Irish their best game of the season but Greenville St. Joseph scored with four minutes left in the game and held the Rebels on downs to run out the clock and take the 20-18 win.
Greenville went on to win the Class 3A championship the next week in convincing fashion over Indianola.
The Rebels finished 10-3 with the loss and all three of their losses were by two points. Their other losses were to Winona Christian and Tri-County Academy.
“It was two good teams going at it,” Milton said after the contest. “A two-point conversion is the difference in that game and it seemed to be that way for us all year. We you play good teams, you have to take care of every opportunity that you get. I will tell anyone, I wouldn’t trade our kids for anybody, not the Division I players or anybody.”
It was a heartbreaking loss in the fact that Rebels led 12-0 at one point in the contest and 18-8 at the half. The Rebels also outgained the high-powered Irish 318 to 286 yards.
“I thought we were doing everything we had planned to do in the first half,” Milton said. “We ran the ball and defensively, we were playing lights out. We held one of the most explosive teams in the state two touchdowns. It’s just one of those things, it came down to a couple of plays that made the difference.”