By PATRICK KINMARTIN-Sports Writer
Posted: 12/13/2008 08:53:55 PM PST
COSTA MESA - A celebratory noise eruption from the black and gold cheering section along LeBard Stadium's north sideline rattled through a frigid breeze off the Orange County coastline just before 8:30 p.m. tonight.
The Butte College football team's fans were wildly applauding the presentation of the California Community College Athletic Assocociation championship trophy to Roadrunners head coach Jeff Jordan following his group's 17-9 win over Mt. San Antonio College.
They were also paying tribute to the most triumphant season in Butte's illustrious 39-year history and an inspirational movie-type success story.
The Roadrunners lost eight of their 10 games two seasons ago - more defeats than any other Butte team had endured. Jordan was in is first season filling in for Craig Rigsbee, who in 2005 retired to focus on his new role as Butte athletic director after a 16-year career where he became the school's all-time winningest coach.
But Rigsbee never had been able to get the Roadrunners past the Northern California title game despite coming close on three occasions. Butte rolled through that barrier this season.
For only the second time, the Roadrunners finished the entire span of a regular season without a loss. Those 10 wins included a win over City College of San Francisco on the Rams' hallowed oncampus stadium - the first time the Roadrunners had been able to pull off that feat against a team that had bullied them for decades.
Butte picked up the Northern California title with a 24-21 win over Reedley at the State Center Bowl in November to become JCGridiron.com's No. 1-ranked team in the nation. Mt. SAC was No. 2 heading into tonight's game.
The state championship trophy will be the third to take a spot in the athletic department's award display inside the lobby at Cowan Gym alongside the two California crowns won by the men's basketball team in the 1970s.