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Pete Cavanagh — the longest tenured and winningest coach in Mid-Prairie football history — etched his name into the record book once more as he reached 100 wins in a 33-6 victory over Davis County.
Cavanagh, who is now in his 16th season as head coach at Mid-Prairie, took over a program that had had a winning record in just two of the 10 previous seasons and immediately made an impact. Mid-Prairie had a winning record in the next four seasons and won a playoff game in three of those years.
Cavanagh said he wanted to thank all the players and assistant coaches through the years and that the achievement is shared with them.
“I would emphasize we’ve had a lot of good players, coaches win with good players,” he said.
Cavanagh set his goal for the program early, and it’s safe to say he has continued to achieve it.
“I want Mid-Prairie football to be consistently good. I want all the boys who come up through Mid-Prairie to be a part of that program,” Cavanagh told the Kalona News in Sept. 2003.
He said looking back that it’s been something worked on day-by-day.
“It’s a daily grind to get kids to believe that they can be successful at multiple sports,” Cavanagh said. “When I first got here we were really good at basketball, but my mindset was that we could be good at a lot of things.”
The Golden Hawks best year under Cavanagh was 2008, a 10-2 season that included a district title and two playoff wins.
Overall, Cavanagh has guided the Golden Hawks to winning records in 12 of 16 seasons, coached players into All-State selections and run a program that does things the right way.
So how many seasons left does Cavanagh have in him?
“I have no idea, I still really enjoy it. It’s just an extension of the classroom and chance to reach kids lives. So until I stop enjoying it I’ll keep doing it.”
Mid-Prairie head coaching records
Pete Cavanagh (2003-Present) 100-62
John Strain (1971-1976) 36-19
Dennis Harms (1977-1982) 32-22
Jim Cayton/Chris Kern (1990-1997) 30-42
Mark Dalton (1998-2002) 22-24
Tim Grady (1967-1969) 20-7
Sam Osborne (1962-1965) 17-17-2
Gary Fickel (1983-1988) 17-36
Willard Sawyer (1960) 7-1
Phil Parman (1966) 4-5
Phil Conaway (1989) 3-6
Marvin O’Hare (1961) 2-5-2
Clarence Stull (1970) 1-8