Just another day at the office for Alter; Knights complete fourth straight unbeaten season


Alter Knights

For the eighth straight season, Alter won the Greater
Catholic League North title after knocking off rival Dayton Chaminade Julienne
21-0 Friday night at Northmont’s Good Samaritan Stadium.

The win also marks Alter’s fourth straight unbeaten season.

CLAYTON – Like many athletes, Kettering Alter senior
running back Cody Taulbee is superstitious.

For every game, he wears the same t-shirt under his pads –
a t-shirt that reads “Winner Riviera” his grandmother gave him from a casino where she had a lucky night at the slot machine in Las Vegas.

The lesson here – don’t bet against the Knights.

For the eighth straight season, Alter won the Greater
Catholic League North title after knocking off rival Dayton Chaminade Julienne
21-0 Friday night at Northmont’s Good Samaritan Stadium.

“This is awesome. It means a lot to everyone. We worked
hard all year and it feels great,” Taulbee said. “It’s surreal right now. I
can’t describe this feeling.”

Friday’s win also marks Alter’s (10-0, 7-0) fourth straight
unbeaten season and the Knights haven’t lost a regular season game since October
of 2005 – a 41-game winning streak – though Alter was forced to forfeit two
games last season.

“This is the latest in a long line of great football teams
here at Alter,” Alter head coach Ed Domsitz said. “They have carried on the
tradition. They really have. That can sometimes be a burden but I like to think
it’s an advantage with a target on our back all year.

“These kids have done a nice job of establishing its

An identity the team was unsure about coming of the
Division IV state championship from last year. 

“Last year, we had never won a state championship and every
game we went out there just thinking about getting that ring,” said Taulbee, who
had 79 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Wishbone offense. “This year,
we’ve got (a championship) and we know what it takes to have that team. We know the hard work
we put in last year and we’re going to have to work even harder this year
because we were coming in on top. We work as hard as we can day-in and day-out but
we like the challenge and look forward to every week.

“Everybody plays well together and we play well as a unit
and I really think that is going to help us in the future.”

Domsitz also wondered how this season’s team would identify
itself after losing several Division I college players to graduation.

“One of things I have found over the years, depending on
the team, you try to go with the feel of what they do best and what their
personality is,” he said. “I think the personality of this team is not to get
too high or too low in any situation. I think that has served us well.

“It’s been a good team. These kids were trying to establish
an identity. They didn’t want to be the team that followed the team. When you
lose the people that we lost, maybe this is the year they could get us.”

The difference between last season’s team and this year’s
squad is apparent in its demeanor, though the results have been the same.

“We’re not like last year where everyday we’re screaming
and saying how we’re not going to lose and we’re going to win state,” said
Taulbee. “We kind of take one game at a time. We really weren’t looking to go
10-0. We were looking to beat CJ and win the GCL and we weren’t really looking
forward at all.

“In the locker room we get pretty fired up and like to get
rowdy but we like to keep it low-key on the field so we don’t get any stupid

Now, Alter will turn its focus to the playoffs out to
defend the Division IV state championship. 

“There is no room for one bad game,” Domsitz said. “The
great thing is that we’re in the playoffs but if you have your one bad game in
the playoffs, it’s all over. The finality hits you the next day when you don’t
have to watch film.”

But this is a program that has established itself with a
rich football tradition this decade that will carry into the postseason.

“Since 2001, we really got things turned around,” said
Domsitz. “Every year, the kids coming up have accepted the challenge. I like to
tell the kids that tradition is not a burden. It should be a pride thing and I
think they believe that. They don’t want to let the others down.

“There is that realization from the beginning that you
can’t have a let down here.”

And with a target on their backs, you can bet that Taulbee
will be wearing his lucky shirt throughout the playoffs.

“We know that every week we are going to play teams that
are getting better and better,” he said. “Right now, we’re going to focus on
next week. We don’t know who we are playing yet but whoever it is we’re going to
work as hard as we can, prepare all week and hope to get it done.”


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