DeKALB -- Batavia didn't win its first football playoff game until 1998.
The Bulldogs didn't even play a playoff game until 1991.
As recently as 2003, Batavia's all-time playoff record was 1-7.
Sunday morning Batavia wakes up as Class 6A state champions.
Not a bad climb for a program built by Mike Gaspari and guided the last three years by Dennis Piron, two who share a bond that runs well beyond football.
Gaspari, Batavia's offensive coordinator, reflected on how far Batavia football has come following the Bulldogs' 34-14 victory over Richards Saturday in the Class 6A state championship game at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.
"I have a different perspective than most people from where we started years ago," Gaspari said. "Such an amazing dream come true. I'm proud of these kids and happy for all our alums who have come through the program the last 30-plus years.
"It's just a blessing to be here and still coaching. We're blessed to be in a great town with a lot of great people and so many good kids over the years."
Piron certainly feels blessed to have Gaspari calling the plays for an offense that scored its first five drives Saturday going 78, 98, 77, 53 and 55 yards.
"The guy is a Hall of Fame coach, he's a great man, he's a legend and to have him now up in the press box calling our offense it's literally unfair to our opponents," Piron said. "He's that good."
Piron praised the way Gaspari and quarterback Micah Coffey work together to make sure the Bulldogs are running the right plays at the right times.
Gaspari was the coach when Micah's older brother Jordan threw 2 touchdown passes in Batavia's only other state title game in 2006. Micah Coffey also threw 2 touchdowns Saturday.
"The way he (Gaspari) studies film, the way he studies the game even while we are playing and can make adjustments, his work and passion for this game has really helped us to achieve our goals," Coffey said.
It all added up to a history-making Saturday and one Batavia players -- or its legions of fans -- won't ever forget.
"This is everything for us," junior lineman Patrick Gamble said. "Ever since '06 this has been our goal. All my friends that have grown up with, this is what we talk about, you know? In the weight room, on the track, doing our thing, all our off-season work -- everything. It's for this. It's the first state title we've had since 1912. Since our high school was created, it's our first state title. It's everything to us. It's awesome, it's unreal."