The 2015 Kennedy football team has been making history, not only for Kennedy High School, but for the metro area as well. Overcoming several injuries and lots of adversity, the team made it to the State Semifinals this year for the first time since 1993. After their recent win over Bettendorf in the semifinals, the Cougars will make their first ever appearance in the State Championship on Friday, November 20 at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
The Kennedy Cougars took on the Bettendorf Bulldogs on Friday, November 13 in a violent, even gutsy, game to advance to the State Championship. Sharing the same undefeated record, the Cougars and the Bulldogs showed up for a fight, and definitely didn’t expect anything less than what they were given. During a tied 7-7 slugfest, a Bettendorf player threw a punch into one of Kennedy’s key player’s, Dalles Jacobus, gut… and no penalty was called. This obnoxious and uncalled for act had apparently been happening for several plays in a row and caused Jacobus to vomit on the field, catching everyone’s attention. Lighting a flame in now all of Kennedy’s fans, coaches, and athletes, especially Jacobus himself, the outrageous act may have been an ok thing for the Cougars. The situation motivated Dalles, who then motivated the rest of the team to fight like they’ve never fought before. Before you knew it, the score was 17-7 by halftime and eventually 31-14 when the clock ran out in the fourth quarter, ending the game.
Like I mentioned before, this action was out of nowhere, and completely took the stands by surprise. After the game had ended and the teams were shaking hands, the Kennedy student section began chanting “43! 43! 43! 43!”, which was the number of the Bettendorf kid who allegedly punched Dalles Jacobus in the stomach. The student section specifically did this to show school spirit and support towards our athletes and not to attack number 43, but happened to upset him nonchalantly.
After the game was over, there was constant controversy between both schools on Twitter about “who punched who” and just little, unnecessary things. The Gazette even happened to share a video of the punching incident, humiliating Bettendorf. However, I was really impressed by what I saw from Kennedy students as opposed to the Bettendorf students. The Kennedy students showed so much support towards each other and made Bettendorf look immature, and flat out pathetic. I will never forget the tweet I saw from a Bettendorf student who straight up offended Kennedy hero, Coach Herk, who passed away last summer. The tweet was disrespectful in so many ways that it just made me cringe inside. I can’t imagine how disappointed the Bettendorf community must be feeling towards the action of this student. Ultimately, the selflessness presented by Kennedy students goes to show that the Kennedy community has grown into a family who supports one another in ALL circumstances. And to me, that’s an indescribable feeling.