Updated: Nov 18, 2021
"When you have kids and parents that are willing to completely buy in, good things will happen."
If you ask Kingsley students, staff, or area residents what football means to this town, you'll hear words like family, love, and community.
In Kingsley, it's clear that football is an institution.
"On Friday nights, you could go door to door and nobody would be home because everyone is at the football game," said senior band member Nik Van Wagner.
Varsity head coach Tim Wooer says there's an energy at Rodes Field that is "almost fanatical."
"It’s electric. It’s hard to explain unless you're there. Rodes Field is a very intimate setting. There's no track around the field, so everybody's right on top of the game," he said.
"Our community loves the game of football. And I think they love the style that we play. We are blue collar. We try to be smash-mouth and physical, and I think our community appreciates that. I think that kind of speaks to the makeup of our community."
2021 marks Wooer's 31st season with the Stags. As a coach, he preaches values of family and resilience.
"We try to be more than a football program. We teach our kids that football is is a platform to help and appreciate others,"
"Our culture is family, love, and incredible hard work. When you use the word love... there's, there's love, and there's tough love. And our kids understand that that it's not always easy."
When times are tough, Wooer reminds his team that winning and losing is just a part of life, and they need to pick themselves back up again and fight.
The Stags lost the 2021 Division 5 regional title against Frankenmuth on November 13.
Last season, the Stags faced a kind of adversity that couldn't be avoided despite all their training and hard work.
After a perfect 2020 season, the team's championship dreams were cut short when they forfeited the Division 5 District final against Reed City due to coronavirus concerns.
"I feel bad for our senior class. That's something that can never be given back to them. I've told them they will always be known as the only undefeated team in school history at this point," said Coach Wooer. "I'm not going to count that as loss in their in their record book or my record. It's just it was an unfortunate thing."
At the end of the day, Wooer says the team and the community is there for each other when times get tough.
"Watching our community in adverse times speaks to the character and the cohesiveness of our community. When watch how our community handles these situations, it speaks to the class of Kingsley."
To learn more about the Kingsley Stags football program, visit https://kingsleystags.com/