FORT THOMAS - Believe it or not, it was hard to find any losers on the football field Friday night after the Franklin County Flyers fell to perennial power Highlands 54-14 Friday night at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.
That's because none of the Flyers were hanging their hands after the game. There were smiles, a few tears, but most importantly, there was a lot of pride.
"A lot of people, kids at school, they didn't think we could be here," senior Brad King said of FCHS making the playoffs. "But we want to make this a tradition.
"This is a big experience for us."
Franklin County, winner of six games this season, let down no one. This team went 0-10 a year ago. A first-round loss to a potent Highlands team, winner of 14 state football titles, will be just a blip on a season the Flyers will not soon forget.
"I'm so proud of these guys," first-year coach Donny Walker said of his players. "I can't say enough about them. They worked so hard and tried so hard. They're a special group of kids."
Senior Shawn Jackson said the effort was there a year ago, but the rewards weren't.
"We all worked hard but we didn't win, and this feels so much better," Jackson said. "This time, with our hard work, we got some victories and coach Walker was a big part of that. On the field he was our coach but off it, he was our friend."
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.