Story by Trey Martin and Warner Otto, photo by Trey Martin
With furious thunder storms in the area, Dutch Fork stormed their way into the 2016 football season last Friday night. Though the rain caused a two hour delay to kickoff, students still enjoyed their time at the game.
“The game was a lot of fun, and it started raining,” freshman Mario Flemming said.
The rain initially caused problems on offense for the Dutch Fork football team, but they were able to overcome it, controlling the entire game on their way to a 45-0 victory.
“We couldn’t throw the ball that well at the beginning of the game, but it didn’t hurt us too much because we won 45-0,” senior wide receiver Bobby Irby said.
Despite the rain, Dutch Fork students and fans were eager to come see this year’s team, and they left pleased with the dominating result.
“I think we played good. It’s all about effort and fun, and we executed well,” junior Turner Monts said.
The Silver Foxes took on Independence High School out of Charlotte, North Carolina, which is where current Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts made a name for himself.
“I really approached it like just another game, but when I saw so many familiar faces it did become emotional during pregame. There are a ton of great memories from there. However, once the ball was kicked off, it was business as usual,” head football coach Tom Knotts said.
Knotts became prominent in the football world during a 109-game win streak with the Independence Patriots. It was a big deal for Dutch Fork players to get the win against their coach’s former team.
“It felt good to get the win. We did it for Coach Knotts. We know how bad he wanted to win, so we went out there and played hard for him,” Bobby said.
Bobby made his mark in the game, recording 6 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns. The senior is a new addition to an already loaded wide receiver group, alongside star players Austin Connor and Ward Hacklen. Fellow teammates are confident in the team’s group of wide receivers.
“Our wide receivers will be our strong point this season. We have a lot of returning players who are all very skilled. Bobby had a great game against Independence,”senior Jacob Phillips said.
The game featured many thrilling moments for the Foxes, such as when senior defensive back Braxton Carr ran a blocked field goal back 90 yards for the touchdown. The play was nominated for Play of the Week by WIS News. The exciting performance against Independence has students at Dutch Fork eager for this years season.
“I think we have a chance to go all the way. We have a good defense and a good team all around,” Turner said.
While the long term goal is to win a state championship, coach Knotts knows the importance of taking it one game at a time.
“It’s always important to win that 1st game,” Knotts said. “It hopefully validates all the hard work that has been done since Christmas. Plus, it gives you confidence for the next game.”