CHICAGO - The Wendell Phillips Academy football team won the Class 5A title for its second championship in three years. The entire school got together Tuesday to congratulate the champs.
School spirit at Phillips Academy was on full display at a special pep rally, where the football team got to show off their state championship trophy. The Wildcats capped off their undefeated season by beating Dunlap 33-7 on Saturday in the state final out in DeKalb.
"I think that with this group, whenever opportunity presents itself, they took advantage of it," Coach Troy McAllister said.
Phillips Academy is the only Chicago Public School to ever win a state football championship - and they've done it twice in three years. The first time was in 2015.
Running back Craig Elmore was a sophomore then. Now, as a senior, he said this win is more emotional.
"The last high school game, just to play on a big field like that and bring the trophy back to Chicago, it was crazy," Elmore said.
Principal Matthew Sullivan says there is success at Phillips Academy on and off the field. He said the focus on academic achievement has resulted in the skyrocketing amount of money students have received in scholarships the past couple of years.
"To go from $300,000 in scholarships to $11 million, the proof is right there," he said.
Quarterback J'Bore Gibbs has a 4.0 GPA and is reflecting on this season.
"It's really similar to when we won the first year. It's a different group, but's a great feeling," he said.
It's a feeling students and staff hope to experience for years to come.