It took 60 games, but the Scarborough High School Spartans finally broke their five-and-a-half-year losing streak on Sept. 4, 2015, when the football team defeated the KIPP Sunnyside Senators with a score of 18-14.
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The victory was particularly gratifying to Scarborough Coach Keith Alex, who is only in his first year as coach of the Spartans. “We are just delighted to get that monkey off our back,” he said. “It’s giving the kids such a huge momentum boost. We’re really excited.”
Alex attributes the team’s victory to both improvements made to the program before his arrival and small changes he has made since coming on board as head coach.
“I was the coach at Booker T. Washington last year,” said Alex, “and I noticed that the Scarborough kids on last year’s team seemed to be playing better football. The game we played against them, they ended up scoring the most points they did all season, so I took the job with that in mind. They had already been improving, and I thought some changes here and there would do the trick.”
During the Sept. 4 game, the Spartans took the lead early and held onto it until the third quarter, when the Senators tightened up the score, but “the defense did a good job of holding them back and keeping them from advancing, and the offense came through when we needed it to,” Alex said.
“Our students worked extremely hard and believed,” he said. “Instead of giving in, they buckled down, which is a huge character thing and shows the kind of fight you have to have in sports. You’re going to make mistakes, but you can’t just give up. You have to keep fighting until it turns around in your favor, and we proved it to them with the win. This is what happens when you work hard. And their confidence is growing.”
The Sept. 4 win marks the first victory for the Scarborough football team since 2009. The next game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Dyer Stadium, 2020 Mangum Road.