Kettering Alter athletics has had a lot to celebrate in the last year. But this time it was the football team’s turn. On Tues. Dec. 2, the Alter student body, faculty and staff held a rally for the football team in the school’s gymnasium to celebrate the recently crowned Division IV state champions.
KETTERING – Kettering Alter athletics has had a lot to celebrate in the last year.
But this time it was the football team’s turn.
On Tues. Dec. 2, the Alter student body, faculty and staff held a rally for the football team in the school’s gymnasium to celebrate the recently crowned Division IV state champions.
In a rally that included recognition of the success of other Alter fall sports programs, the team was presented with a framed poster from the Dayton Daily News and senior quarterback and captain Austin Boucher presented the state championship trophy to Principal Nicki Brainard and Athletic Director Chris Hart.
The rally also featured a student-produced video parody mocking Boucher, senior captain Chris Borland and head coach Ed Domsitiz.
“That was pretty funny,” Boucher laughed. “They captured me as the stereotypical, dumbfounded football player but I think there is a little more to me than that. But all-in-all it was very funny.
“Here at Alter, it is a lot smaller than a lot of schools and everyone knows everyone and the spirit at this rally shows how everyone is really tight knit. It is something to be proud of.”
With a 21-6 win over previously unbeaten Steubenville Fri., Nov. 28 in the state championship game at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium, Alter (13-2) claimed its first football state championship in school history.
“All year, you have these state champs in every other sport and we wanted it to be our time and we just had the right combination of players and everything kind of just fit together and we made it happen,” Boucher said.
The team has already designed the state championship rings.
“I think when we get those and slip those on our fingers is when it will really sink in,” said Boucher.
Tough Road Taken
The Alter football championship didn’t come without a bit of adversity. The Knights lost starting linebacker Colin Boucher – Austin’s twin brother – early to a season ending knee injury then were forced to forfeit the first two games of the season after playing an ineligible player.
“We had the injury with Colin. It took about a week or two but then I really began to feel comfortable that these kids were going to not let the forfeits ruin their season,” Domsitz said. “After we got into about the sixth week it became pretty evident that the forfeits became inconsequential in the minds of these kids.
“They had one mission and that was to walk off the field 15 times undefeated and, in fact, they did that.”
Boucher, who had 19 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown in the state title game in addition to 81 yards passing and a touchdown, honored his brother this season by wearing Colin’s No. 9 jersey instead of his own No. 8.
“We’ve been playing football together since second grade,” Austin Boucher said of him and Colin. “I know if I went down he would have represented me and I know he would have given anything to be out there, especially in the state game. I guess it is just brotherly love and he has been my inspiration and my motivation and he showed me how to handle more adversity than I have ever had to.
“We’re both state champs.”
Alter finished state runner-up in 2006 falling to Steubenville 34-33 in the Division III state championship game and last season the Knights campaign ended in the regional semifinals to eventual state champion Coldwater 59-52 in a triple-overtime thriller.
Alter defeated both teams in the playoffs this season on the road to the state championship.
“I think it was interesting and fitting that to get to the mountain top and to win it all we had to beat the two teams that had beaten us in the playoffs the last two years,” Domsitz said.
“It looked like that might come to pass after the first round of the playoffs – if we were going to come home with the championship trophy, we were going to have to vindicate ourselves in the sense that we were going to have to defeat the people that beat us the previous two years.
“That is pretty special if you can do that.”
Many of the Alter alumni that were on the 2006 state runner-up team attended the title game last week to offer their support for this year’s team.
“We had 15-20 seniors from the 2006 team there in Canton and when we came out of the locker room those kids were there. They were there supporting our kids when we came out right before the game,” Domsitz explained.
“I told our kids what they were going to see when they came out. I told them that these kids out there from two years ago – this is big for them.”
And Alter’s current players understood.
“Some of the guys that were talking to the media after the game said it wasn’t just for them but for all the guys that have ever played football at Alter,” Domsitz recounted. “I think it says that the kids understand the tradition here and the spirit that has always existed with Alter football.”
Long Time Coming
The football state title isn’t only the first for Alter but it is the first for Domsitz. He has been the head coach for Alter for 17 years compiling a 151-48 record. For his career, Domsitz holds a 227-131 mark.
“I think it is very exciting,” he said. “Never having achieved that before, it is something very special and it is special because of the kids that were a part of it.
“I think the entire coaching staff had a great feeling about this group and the fact that we were able to accomplish something that for so long has eluded us is great. “
Not To Be Overlooked
Alter also recognized the other fall sports programs at the rally in addition to celebrating the football team’s state championship, including the Division II state runner-up girls volleyball team and the Division II state runner-up girls cross country team.