Football Series: Redemption


Ruth Meehan

City high takes on Cedar Falls at home.

Aala Basheir and Wolfgang Fullenkamp

Just a few minutes into the Battle for the Boot, Tonka Hickman ‘20 started running for the end zone, football in hand. The crowd seemed to hold its breath as he neared his goal. A few seconds later, he crossed the line and scored the first touchdown of the game. At halftime, the score was 26-22 for City. However, after the second half, City lost 32-36

With only two wins in each of the last three seasons, City High Football may be at its lowest point in the Dan Sabers era. The team started the season off with a close loss of 20-23 against its newly founded rivals at Liberty High. 

“We had a lot of false start penalties. That just kills a drive. It was at kind of crucial points, because we were in the red zone a couple times. We had a lot of 15-yard penalties, and that hurt us,” Raphael Hamilton ‘21 said. 

This is Hamilton’s second year playing quarterback on the varsity team. As a team captain, Hamilton hopes the team can continue to improve in the upcoming years. 

“Our coaches really talked to us, how we need to compete more and everyone needs to do their job. We feel like sometimes the whole team doesn’t always compete as hard as they can. We just weren’t as prepared as we could be,” Hamilton explains.

Kolby Kucera ‘21 started out the season as a blocking tight end but impressed early and his position shifted to more of a receiving tight end. He finished the season with 68 receiving yards.

“Non-football players don’t really think we ever have a chance. They don’t believe in us; they’re not at our practices. They don’t know the team we can be,” Kucera said. “We don’t really listen to that, we just go out there and play to win.”  

The team went 2-7 this year, winning against Ames and Muscatine with scores of 28-25 and 10-7 respectively. Hamilton had over 750 passing yards to end the season.

“We’re just trying to get better every game,” Hamilton said. “We knew it was going to be rough at times, but we just that we had to stick together as a team.”