Redemption: Friday night football game to put kings in the running for ECC championship


Mrs. Brant decorates her door to show spirit for the homecoming game against Winton Woods.

Nov 5, 2021, was a season altering game for Kings that left the team down by 10 in the fourth quarter. The sting of that loss carries into this season. On Sept 30, 2022 Kings is set to rematch rival football team, Winton Woods in a redemption game to put Kings back on top. 

Evan Scott, defensive end for Kings, understands that this Friday’s homecoming game is more than just a typical game. Winning against Winton Woods will be an accomplishment for the team. 

“Winton Woods is our biggest opponent this year. As much as we don’t want to admit it, we have had them circled on our calendar since we lost to them in the playoffs last November. We want to prove to Cincinnati and the state of Ohio that we aren’t a team to mess with,” Scott said.

Kings’ current running streak of 6-0 is impressive, but it may take more work to take down Winton Woods. Facing the reigning football state champions will require more effort and mental acuity from the team. 

A lot of talk and animosity has developed between the two teams since Winton Woods knocked Kings out of the playoffs two years in a row, winning the state championship in 2021.

“There is so much history behind our rivalry these past 3 years. We are always expected to lose because the talent they have is top notch,” said Hunter Jones, outside linebacker.

“We will always prepare the same, nothing will change physically. Mentally, however, we prepare by understanding this is not going to be like every other week where we will be up by 40-plus points in the fourth quarter,” Scott said. 

The homecoming game in and of itself not only brings heightened intensity but also college recruiters will be watching. The football program is trying to show that without huge name recognition, the team can come together and do something great.

“This is the best rivalry in Ohio and everyone on our team and theirs knows it’s gonna be a war. Due to their college interests it will also be a big stage for all of our players,” Jones said. 

Coach Alex Garvin tries his best to prepare his team for the big homecoming game, knowing the team will do great with all the hard work they put in. 

“This is a big game and our players have been excited for this moment for a long time. This week the preparation is a lot on the details and fundamentals of execution. We know we have talented players and great coaches. We just have to show it on Friday night,” Garvin said.

Jones hopes to get a chance to prove himself this year after sustaining a major injury that kept him from playing against Winton Woods last year. Being injured at that point after just coming into the playoffs, Jones felt like the world was against him. After being told that his injury contributed to last year’s loss, the comments stuck with him.

“The homecoming game means everything to me. I didn’t get to play in our last game against Winton Woods which ended our season due to my ACL injury that occurred the game before,so the date Sep 30 has been on my mind since I knew the schedule,” Jones said. 

Running up hills, sprinting 60 yard flies, and building up distances overtime, the team increased their rigorous regime in anticipation for the game.

“It’s more a mentality shift than anything. Our coaches get stricter. Our drills are more critical. We don’t do more physical work than normal so we don’t overexert ourselves. Practices are scientifically geared to have us a peak at 7-9:30 p.m. on Friday,” Jones said.

Jones realizes this year’s homecoming game will have a huge impact on the team and their season.  

“A win or a loss will make or break that weekend because we have poured our heart and soul into being better than last year to achieve our ultimate goal of winning state and this is the stepping stone that tells us if we are who we are. I’ll always hate winton woods but I’ll always respect them as well. Two premier football teams in an area are going to have a rivalry, despite all other factors,” Jones said.