Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Unbeaten neighbors gird for gridiron

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

DEERFIELD TWP. - With the countdown under way to Friday's kickoff between unbeaten high school neighbors Loveland and Kings, excitement is building.

Loveland head football coach Chuck Warner said Monday that he is trying to keep up as normal a schedule as possible, despite media attention on his team, ranked second in Greater Cincinnati and seventh in the state for Division II schools. Kings, which will host the Tigers before what is expected to be a school-record crowd, is rated first in Greater Cincinnati and fifth in the state.

"I think we both equally could be the No. 1 team in the city," said Matt Koenig, Kings athletic director. "It's going to be a great game. This is just the calm before the storm."

Both teams have 8-0 records going into the matchup, the last league game for the Kings Knights. The Tigers play their last Fort Ancient Valley Conference game against Wilmington Oct. 25.

"Our theme for this week is we want it as normal as possible," Mr. Warner said. "Changing what we do is not going to help us win. The difference (between winning and losing) is going to be a play here, a play there, a turnover or a special team play. Most big games are won by turnover or special team plays."

At Kings, there will be a pep rally at 2 p.m. Friday. The game is the last home game for seniors, who will be honored along with senior band members and cheerleaders. No special rallies are planned at Loveland.

Monday, both teams reviewed tapes of their opponents and began preparing for the game, honing their strengths and reviewing plays.

"It's going to be the biggest crowd we've ever had,'' said Mr. Koenig, who is preparing 8,000 tickets for sale and anticipating a minimum crowd of 4,000 to 5,000.

Tickets will be available at both schools all week.

Football coverage of Loveland, Kings and all Greater Cincinnati high schools

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