The Turnaround of a Decade

Davenport West Football Team Advances to Playoffs


Coach Brian Shutte

“My biggest takeaway is I would say the people who are on the team, like all of us, I consider each and every one of my brothers. And we all became really close and you can tell from how much we appeared as a team,” said Haines.

Makenna Burt and Stoyota Nguyen

Bright lights, brisk air, a loud stadium, and cheers from all around. Davenport West’s football team took in this experience during their game on Friday, October 28. The football players and cheerleaders headed up to Des Moines to play Dowling Catholic High School. 

After being 7-2 during their season, West secured a spot in the playoffs as the 16th seed. Since 1999, West has not been able to secure a playoff spot until this year. This season will go down in history for the West High football team. 

“I think it’s a big accomplishment for Davenport West football to make steps into becoming an actual program and just not a single team. A lot of our players have been playing up since our freshman year. Yeah, we’re a very young team, but we’ve had a lot of varsity experience. I think that helps a lot,” senior Brent Haines said. 

Having a winning season is an accomplishment but the ultimate goal is to build a program for the football team. With a new coaching staff and players who were willing to be coached, West has built a successful team. 

“It feels great. We knew since we started playing football at West that we were bound to do something like this whether it was last year or sophomore year. We’re just glad that it happened right before we left,” Senior Jaylen Green said.

In the last couple of years the football program has had many drastic changes, especially with the coaching staff. They have been working to rebuild the program after many years of losing seasons. 

“I have been coaching the seniors for the past four years. They were my first group of kids, so it’s very special for this first group of kids. You are kinda able to assist them and help them get to where they wanted to be since day one. Then Krusey coming in and restarting the program, I think that helped a lot. We had a fusion of energy and those kids who had already been successful their freshman year, I think it just started a lot of positive energy to the program,” said d-line football coach Dearborn. 

There have been many factors that have gone into this year’s team becoming a winning season team. With much of the coaching staffing new and new players having these coaches, they have worked to create a successful team. 

“I would say buy in, the kids bought into not only this team from the coaches […] And they’ve been very, very good on getting the negative mojo out of the program and they’ve been very supportive of each other and helping push that negative energy away from the program,” said Dearborn.

While the players worked to rid all negativity, the long term goal became to have a positive mindset. With players that have grown close and consider each other brothers, they have created a positive team environment. 

“Never give up. We’ve had two wins and two years before, especially with Krusey we won twice or once in two years, and then we turned the season around and won seven. For us to just say just don’t give up. It’s a big accomplishment,” said senior Kelton Youngberg

Most of the starting lineup has been playing varsity since their sophomore year. Every year after their sophomore year they have won more games. This year they finally had a winning season. 

‘[The best is] just how great it feels to actually make the playoffs. And so this last ride with the guys has been a great one,” Green said.