Patriots win historic game

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Chilton Christian Academy Patriots celebrate the program's first-ever win.

What Chilton Christian Academy’s brand-new football team may lack in experience, it certainly makes up for in spirit and determination.

The 10 players who rotate positions for the Patriots’ 6-man team proved on Sept. 2 why they deserve a spot in the Chilton County high school football circuit.

In their first home game in school history, the Patriots beat the Faith Christian Lions 58-12.

Patriots coach Todd Stephens said the football program has broadened CCA’s athletic program and has brought the whole school community together.

“We’re progressing very well,” Stephens said of his team. “Every game and every practice, we’re getting a lot better. We saw a lot of improvement from the first game to the second game.”

Even more impressive than the final score of the Sept. 2 game was the team’s resilience after losing its season-opener to Trinity Aug. 19.

“It was close up until the end,” said Kim Kemp, mother of the Patriots freshman Kevin Kemp.

Kevin, whose nickname on the team is “the Big Train from the Ukraine,” alternates between kicker and running back.

“He loves it,” Kim said. “I’m glad he’s playing. I thought playing on a team would be good for him.”

Kevin echoed his mother’s comments and said he plans to continue playing football through high school.

“I feel awesome,” Kevin said after the Patriots’ Sept. 2 win.

The Patriots have a five-game stretch with no breaks coming up, and three of the games are away.

“That will really show us where we’ve progressed,” Stephens said.

According to Stephens, accountability, leadership and humility are several ways the football program is shaping the lives of his players who, in turn, are shaping the lives of their fellow students.

“We’ve got a lot of younger students who are watching these guys,” Stephens said. “We make sure everybody is keeping their grades up. We want to make sure they’re exemplifying a good attitude.

“We are a family, and our team is a family,” Stephens said. “We hope to have big crowds follow us and give us support.”