Tough to say goodbye
With a perfect record of 10-0 in the regular season and an ECC Championship, the Kings Knights had a historic 2014.
Although the Knights emphasize a team attitude, several individuals have received high praise this offseason: seven players were named ECC First Team, including RB DeAndre Barnett and DE Black Bockrath, the ECC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. Additionally, Coach Andy Olds was named ECC Coach of the Year.
Other honors are expected to be awarded as football season draws to a close. The end of a very successful season carries an overwhelming sense of disappointment along with pride as senior football players realize this is the end of their high school football careers.
“It’s a terrible feeling knowing that I will not be playing high school football anymore,” said Barnett.
Senior players have dedicated endless hours to the game only to have an abrupt ending to their high school careers, regardless of playoff results. The players leave the sport with the perfect storm of an overwhelming appreciation for the game and sadness for moving forward without football.
“I’ve been playing the game for 10 years. When I knew it was the last time I would put on a pair of shoulder pads and helmet again, I didn’t want it to be true,” said Senior outside linebacker Kyle Handorf, who scored the Knights’ only special teams touchdown this season with a 50 yard punt return.
Even though the season is now over, the bond between the team members will never fade away. Kings’ prides it’s football program being based on a family atmosphere where everyone in the program stays close, no matter the score of a game.
“I’m going to be in contact with my coaches, the players and the program because these friendships last a lifetime,” said Handorf.
Reflecting back on the season, it is apparent with all of the awards given that the players did an outstanding job. One of the ways the program appreciates and rewards the players and volunteers is through the football banquet they hold.
“At the banquet awards are handed out such as most improved and MVP, as well as our varsity letters,” explains Senior center Tyler LeClair
The banquet, along with handing in all the equipment the players have, and returning the following day to clean the locker room and get everything in order, solidifies the end of the season.
Although the season ended short of a State Championship berth, there is plenty to be proud about for the 2014 Knights as well as plenty to look forward to come Fall 2015.
KINGS 2014 SEASON BY THE NUMBERS:
Regular Season: 11-1 (7-0 in ECC play)
Postseason: WON vs. Northwest (42-7), LOST vs Mt. Healthy (neutral field; 47-14)
ECC First Team:
RB DeAndre Barnett: Finished 2nd in ECC in rushing yards (1485), Led ECC in points scored (152), ECC Offensive Player of the Year
DE Blake Bockrath: Led ECC in sacks (14.5), ECC Defensive Player of the Year
QB Tyler Knecht: Finished 4th in ECC in passing yards (1614)
K Adam Woeste: Led ECC in kicking with 40/46 extra points and 9/9 field goals (long kick of 48 yards)
OL Jake Bedinghaus
LB Jared Dorsa
CB Josh Raymond
ECC Second Team: Tommy Bruns, Kyle Handorf, Jacob Henderson, Cole Palmer, Aaron Wyatt