‘We are playing for championships’: Kennedy ready for another run at state

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WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren JFK has qualified for the high school football playoffs for six consecutive years, and the Eagles have no plans snapping that streak this season.

“The culture here is, you’re here to play for championships year in a year out,” said Warren JFK Head Coach Dom Prologo. “We have the attitude that, we’re not going to rebuild, we’re going to reload.”

There is a confidence at Kennedy this year that comes from playing six weeks of playoff football last year. The Eagles return eight starters on both sides of the ball from that State Runner-Up team, including most of their offensive and defensive line.

“Well, that’s the strength of our team,” Prologo said. “When you’ve got a center that a three-year starter, a right guard that’s a three-year starter, a left tackle that’s a three-year starter, right tackle that’s a two-year starter, that are angry because they didn’t perform up to their standard the last time they were on the field.”

Prologo is referring to the Eagle’s 31-point loss in the State Championship last fall, which has been a major source for motivation this summer.

“We do 31 10-yard sprints here once a week to remind us that we gave up 31 points on our last time on the field,” Prologo said. “Our kids embrace that. So they’re a little angry about it.”

“It’s my personal motivation and most of these guys’ motivation for every single practice,” said Eagles senior wideout Alex DeSalvo. “All we think about is 31-0. We got put in our spot. We did not show up to play that game and that’s what happens when you don’t show up to play football games. So that 31-0 is just a reminder every single day of what we have to get done this year.”

The Eagles will tweak the offense this season. Sophomore Caleb Hadley will start at quarterback, and they’ll run by committee in the backfield. But new faces in the skill positions won’t lower expectations.

“That confidence comes from the trust we have in each other that we’re going to go out every single day and leave our hearts on the field and work as hard as possible,” said Eagles senior lineman Will Toth. “I know that from all my brothers upfront, we hold hands in the huddle, and we make sure we feel that energy from each other, We build off of that. We use that.”

“Coming out here watching our kids run around, they’re just like, we have to put pieces in place and let’s go,” Prologo said. “Because the standard is, we’re playing for championships.

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