Football has season to remember

Anna Richardson, sports editor

After the 2019 football season, many of the students, athletes and even teachers did not know what to expect of 2020. After all the students left school half way through the second semester and the addition of a new head coach; what would Kapaun Mt. Carmel football look like?
It looked great.
The Crusaders had the challenge of coming out of a year with only two wins during a nine game season.
Not only were moods down because of the 2019 season, but also the ever growing threats of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Athletes were unsure of the existence of a 2020 fall sports season, let alone thinking about the victories.
Even still, the athletes held extremely high expectations for themselves. Not only were they hoping to become better on the field, but also in their own heads.
As with any sport, the mental game and culture off the field of KMC football is just as important as what happens on the field.
“Our team did a really good job of making last year’s disappointment a distant memory, completely changing our culture from just a year ago,” said senior Brandon Burr.
That’s exactly what they did. In a ten game season, KMC only lost a total of two games and made it to sectionals against Northwest.
The year started off strong with a 42- 0 game against Dodge City Sept. 4.
The three top players in the opening game were senior Andrew Gimino, senior Doug Bates and junior Austin Ruda.
Along with a 24 yard run, Gimino also had an interception and an eight yard touchdown run. His teammate, Doug Bates had one touchdown off of an impressive 43 yard run. However, Ruda could be considered the player of the game with a 54 yard run and three touchdowns.
The Crusaders came close in their next game Sept. 11 against Bishop Carroll. In the last two minutes of the game, Gimino took a chance on a long run but ended up fumbling the ball near the end zone. The game was lost 28-31.
But KMC picked themselves back up for senior night Sept. 17 where they took Emporia 56-13.
Gimino had a 51 yard touchdown pass to sophomore Will Anciaux. Junior Kai Kunz also had a touchdown pass to Anciaux along with his own 20 yard run. Bates followed with an outstanding run of 18 yards for a touchdown. Gimino was the top player of the game with 65 passing yards and two touchdowns.
In the homecoming game against Pittsburg Oct. 2, KMC brought in another victory 49-0.
Seniors Tiger Jones, Bates and Gimino all had great games. Bates and Gimino both had runs of 40 or more yards. Jones had a risky touchdown pass to senior Ethan Stuhlsatz. Senior Cale Curtis, however, was the top athlete of the match with a total of 137 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
In the Oct. 9 game against Garden City, KMC kept their momentum with a win of 56-0.
Kunz had an impressive game with two runs over 2o yards, one leading into a touchdown. Kunz threw an impressive 20 yard pass to Anciaux. Along with Kunz, Curtis had a 22 yard touchdown run.
After KMC won against Liberal by forfeit, the Crusaders went against Hays for a 26-6 victory. These were the first points in over a month given up by the defense.
Gimino had a very notable game with two 30 yard passes to Anciaux and Stuhlsatz. The senior quarterback also had an 18 yard run. Curtis turned heads when he made a touchdown out of a kickoff return.
The Crusaders kept the ball rolling in the next two games, taking Salina South 74-0 Oct. 30.
Curtis and Ruda both had impressive runs. Both gained touchdowns after over 13 yards. Although the most exciting run of the game may have been Gimino’s 56 yard run down the middle of the field for a touchdown.
In the regional game, KMC took on Goddard and won 38-15 on Nov. 6. Gimino threw two passes to Jones at 20 yards and 49 yards.
Sophomore Nathan Fury caught a fast interception and gained a few before a flag was called and junior Isaac Schmitz kicked an extraordinary field goal at the 43 yard line.
With these last few games locked in, KMC was ready to face off against Northwest, a team they lost to twice last season, for the sectional title. After the Grizzlies came back from being down in the first few minutes, KMC fought back hard until a close loss of 14-26, ending the season.
Even though their season ended short, the team is very proud of how far they came and how they grew this season. Head Coach Weston Schartz explained his favorite part of the season.
“[High points were] Winning regional over Goddard going 8-2 and watching young men grow in their faith in Christ.”
Part of the success of this year was due to the strong foundations of the team as a whole. When athletes set examples of how to play, it changes the whole mood.
“The senior group lead and the rest of the team followed. It was a true team effort,” Schartz stated.
Overall, KMC students, faculty and alumni can all feel proud about the 2020 football season and can’t wait to see what next year brings.