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Falcons Sports

EK Blog Coverage

Posted Friday, September 11, 2009 by WestMiAllStarBlog
Original text of this entry can be found at:

Track spikes and glass slippers for (un)surprisingly undefeated East Kentwood

Quarterback Jon Henry (left) leads the Falcons' speedy backfield.  Many games turn out just like above, only with pads.

Quarterback Jon Henry (left) leads the Falcons' speedy backfield. Many games turn out just like above, only with pads.

Last year, East Kentwood scored 191-points in what was an abysmal 2-7 campaign.  Given that they return 16-starters from last year’s squad, many naturally expected more of the same.  Especially considering their schedule.

Week-1 was Caledonia, led by stud quarterback Luke Wiest, owner of virtually every school passing record and an overall 19-3 record over the past two years.

Week-2 was Inkster, led by stud quarterback Devin Gardner, Scout.com’s #1 football recruit in Michigan, signed to play for the Michigan Wolverines next year.

Two games into the season, the Falcons were supposed to be staring at a winless record.  Instead they’re sitting at 2-0 after eking out an overtime victory over one of the better teams in West Michigan, and subsequently demolishing a team that in the preseason was listed among the top in the entire state.  All this while having scored 93-points, almost half their total from 2008, in the process.

What a difference a year makes.

What exactly is that difference, when the majority of the team is the same?  Basically, comfort within their system.  The Falcons underwent a dramatic coaching change, and with it a system and philosophy change, immediately before the 2008 season, and they looked like they were never quite able to figure out up versus down.  The dynamic speed present throughout the roster kept them within a touchdown in four of their seven losses last year, but ultimately they didn’t know how to win.

Now that they’ve developed a comfort with the system, now that the players are buying what second-year coach Greg Hudkins and his staff are selling, the Falcons are extremely dangerous, as Caledonia and Inkster can attest.  But they have been relatively far more  effective on the offensive side of the ball.

If speed kills in football, the East Kentwood offensive backfield should be locked up until they graduate.  They return multiple players from the reigning Division-1 track state champions, including quarterback Jon Henry and running back Deonte Hurst, each of whom is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.  Crazy thing is, those two may or may not be the fastest Falcons on the field.

Defensively, the Falcons haven’t been quite so successful.  They have given up 67-points in two games, which is fine when you’re scoring 93, but not so good in the event you have an off-game.  And East Kentwood will eventually have an off game.  The Falcons have a level of talent and athleticism to rival the best in the area, and will likely make the playoffs strictly based on that.  But that’s not enough late into the season, and if they don’t shore up their defense, they won’t make it out of the first round.

Regardless, the 2009 Falcons are the very definition of a Cinderella team (in case you’re not convinced, I’ve broken it down for you at the bottom of this post using everybody’s long-lost high school acquaintance, algebra.  If you are convinced, do yourself a favor and skip that part), and deserve all the recognition and attention that accompanies that label.  But unlike many Cinderella teams, they didn’t necessarily have to be.  They’ve been this good all along.  It’s just taken a year or so for them to figure it out.

“Last year I feel like a lot of our kids were in kind of a ‘wait and see’ mode,” explained Hudkins.  “But they’re expecting success more this year.  The kids worked so hard over the past year that I’m excited to see it pay off for them, but at the end of the day it’s still just two wins.  And we know that we’ve got a long way to go.”

Next up, 2-0 Holland West Ottawa on Friday, the Panthers sporting a defense that has allowed only 10-points per game.

East Kentwood will be packing their glass slippers.  Let’s hope West Ottawa brings their track spikes.

As promised, algebra

The definition of Cinderella, from Dictionary.com:


Cinderella (n): One that unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect.

A period of obscurity (n) and neglect (n): In sports, a period of time characterized by a low rate of success, and accompanying lack of attention.  Ex: The 2005-2008 East Kentwood football teams.  None of which had a winning record.

Unexpectedly achieving recognition or success (v): In sports, performing significantly above standards set by previous performances, thereby garnering additional media and/or fan attention.  Ex: The 2009 East Kentwood football team — 2-0 overall record.  Averaging 46.5 points per game against high level of competition.

A + B = C; where A=A period of obscurity and neglect; B=Unexpectedly achieving recognition or success; and C=Cinderella.

Therefore, the 2009 East Kentwood Falcons are a Cinderella team.

Boo yah.  You can’t argue with algebra.

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