Lords RuleGAMBIER, Ohio (November 16, 2012)
"When I was a student at Kenyon, we wrote poetry the way they played football at Ohio State," novelist E.L. Doctorow '52 famously recalled. But after this football season, Kenyon students can take pride in their poetry and their football.
Lili Martinez '13 of Rumford, Rhode Island, said the team's performance took many students by surprise. "I think students really thought it was a fluke when the team won their first game," Martinez said. "But when they continued to win, people sat up and took notice."
The team's impressive turnaround renewed student interest in the football team's performance. In the final game of the season, on November 10 against Denison University, more than 250 Kenyon students came to support the team, filling two student sections in the stands. Martinez, who had never been a devoted fan, did not miss a home game this season.
Lords running back Brett Williams '13 of Chesterland, Ohio, said the College's relationship with the team changed for the better this season. "Students were much more interested and supportive than in the past, from the very beginning of the season," Williams said.
Richard Pera '14 of Washington, D.C., covered the football team for the Collegian this year. He said the signs of support promise stronger ties in the future between the team and the community. "It demonstrated a change in the school's culture and a change in the respect for the team that students have now," Pera said. "Students really respected the effort the players put into the program and turning it around. Kenyon can really benefit from supporting its football program."
Last year, Pera did interviews about whether the football program could even continue at Kenyon. This year, the Lords competed for a North Coast Athletic Conference title.
Martinez said, as a senior, the team's success has particular meaning for her. "The senior class has followed the saga along with the team-we are the ones who remember their last win before this season," she said. "It's great for the senior class to go out with proud memories of the team, and I think we've set the bar for the first-year class to be excited and supportive of our team going forward."
By Joumana Khatib '13 of Upper Arlington, Ohio