Historic season in Bratt
By By Matthew Nascone
The Northview Chiefs finished off only their second perfect regular season in school history when they took down district rival Baker Oct. 27. The 2001 Chiefs are the other squad to finish with a 9-0 regular season.
The 2001 bunch finished 10-1 after losing in the second round of the Florida state playoffs. Current head coach Cody Keene said 9-0 is great, but that is only one goal for the team.
"I am proud of how hard our kids worked," Keene said. "The coaches and the players have worked hard all season to get to this point. Making it to the playoffs is great, but it is like the start of a second season. Everyone is 0-0 and we want to be 1-0 after the first round."
The 2006 FHSAA Class 2B District 1 championship is the second straight title for the Chiefs. Keene said this was the first time in the school's history the Chiefs have won consecutive district titles.
Keene has accomplished this task in his third year at NHS. It has taken only three years for the players to buy into what Keene is selling them.
"Coach Keene and his assistants have done a great job with our program," NHS athletic director Sammy Day said. "I have never seen a group of guys who wanted to lift weights more than these guys do. They have truly bought into coach Keene's philosophy."
That philosophy is to be the strongest team on the field and to be physical. Keene has talked about his team being physical all season, and that physicality has paid off in the form of a 9-0 season. But as Keene said, they are not done yet.
"We are not through yet," Keene said. "We have to keep working hard and do whatever it takes to win. And I feel like we can and will."
Having an undefeated football team can leave an impression on more people than those who attend the games.
"Whenever I wear my Northview shirt anywhere, people want to know more about how our school," Day said. "We don't do any recruiting because that is not allowed, but having an undefeated season has put us on the map for athletes in the area. The season is a great tool for bringing athletes to Northview."
If the boys needed any more incentive to win, but the NHS booster club will feed the team a T-bone steak after every win.
The fine dining began last Tuesday following the district championship clinching win over Baker and Keene said it will continue after every win this postseason.
Of course, Keene said he knows the team would not be where they are now if not for the assistant coaches.
"I think our coaching staff has done a great job in preparing these boys to play each week," he said. "They are a good group of knowledgeable, dedicated and local people."
And the last, but not least, element to the Chiefs' success this season has been the fan base, according to Keene.
"Our boys love playing the game of football anywhere, but they especially like to play it at home in front of the crowd," Keene said. "It really gets them going and it has been good to see the people of the community get behind these boys and support them."