SPORTS | November 24, 2021
The Kenwood Broncos cemented their place as one of the premier Chicago Public League football teams in CPS after defeating perennial powerhouse Simeon in the City Championship 25-7. This was Kenwood’s first trip to the City Championship and first City Title in school history.
Coincidentally, the schools’ two head coaches, Simeon’s Daunte Culbreath and Kenwood’s Sinque Turner, are both Simeon alums, which created even more intrigue around the championship.
“I will say it’s bittersweet, but it ain’t bitter, it ain’t bitter,” Turner said with a smile. “As a player, I won two city championships there in 2002, 2003, and it feels good to be on the other side to win one for Kenwood.”
Earlier this year, Simeon defeated Kenwood 38-26. Kenwood senior Bjourn M. knew that loss would teach them invaluable lessons and those lessons proved pivotal in the rematch at the City Championship.
“We wanted to play Simeon again after they beat us earlier in the year,” Bjourn said. “That loss gave us a reality check and brought us back down to earth. We played really well after that for the rest of the season.”
Kenwood got on the scoreboard first thanks to its dynamic duo, as senior quarterback Lou H. threw a perfect 35-yard pass to Nebraska-bound senior wide receiver Jalil M. for a touchdown.
“We made sure to get me the ball early,” said Jalil. “We had to put up points early and we did.”
The back and forth first half finished with Kenwood still holding on to their 6-0 lead.
The beginning of the second half proved close once again as Kenwood’s Davonte J. ran the ball into the endzone to increase Kenwood’s lead to 13-0. But Simeon quickly answered with a rushing touchdown of their own, as junior David A. scored, making it a 13-7 game.
Kenwood’s defense then set up the team to finish the game strong, scoring 17 unanswered points.
Junior defensive back and wide receiver Khalil T. had one of his best games as a Bronco, totaling three interceptions on defense.
“It feels great; I’m so excited with my performance,” he said.
And how was he in the right place at the right time so consistently?
“Watching a lot of film, that’s all I got to say,” he said.
His commitment to his craft is just one of many examples of how Kenwood and Coach Turner have committed themselves to be the best on and off the field.
“We wanted to come over and install a specific culture here,” Turner said. “The guys have bought into the culture and the program and everything we do and these are the results.”
As the second half continued, Kenwood found scoring plays from a 51-yard run from Bjourn and a last-second Lou H. sneak touchdown to secure the victory.
As the final horn sounded, the Broncos rushed the field in celebration as the crowd, dance and cheer team, and prep band filled Lane Stadium with an atmosphere that the school, players and staff will never forget.
“We’ve got a whole bunch of talent on this team, so there was no doubt in my mind we were not going to win,” Khalil said.
Coach Turner’s fifth year at Kenwood proved to be the best in school history, and he knows just how special this win was for his program and the Kenwood community.
“For me and this team to bring the first city championship to this program speaks volumes. It’s a testament of the hard work they [everyone] have put in from five years back,” Turner said. “My guys that have been with me for four years, it’s been a complete 360. It’s a real good breath of fresh air for our alumni, for the school, for the fans and for everybody. It means a lot; it’s hard to put into words. I’m just proud of the kids.”
Kenwood will have 28 players returning as seniors next year so Coach Turner and the entire Kenwood community cannot wait to continue their 2021 success for years to come.
But before looking ahead to next year, Kenwood still has one more game on their schedule—the 2021 Prep Bowl.
It will be their first-ever trip to the Prep Bowl, which always features the Catholic school champion taking on the Chicago Public League champion. This will be the 91st game in a history that dates back to 1927, and will see Kenwood take on (Niles) Notre Dame, also making their first trip to the historic game.
Kenwood will savor the City Championship victory, but they are looking forward to another opportunity to make history with a Prep Bowl victory to finish their unforgettable 2021 season. But no matter how the game turns out, the Kenwood community will always remember this season as one of the best and most exciting in school history.
**Note: The Prep Bowl will take place at 11am at Gately Stadium on Friday November 26.