Kenwood seniors drive big hopes in turnaround football season

As one of 20 seniors on Kenwood’s roster, Tyshauwn Owens wants his class to leave its mark on Bluebirds football this fall.

His team hasn’t had a winning season since 2008, but the Bluebirds are already 4-0 – matching their win total from all of last season. If Friday night’s 28-7 win over Catonsville is any indication, they have an excellent chance of posting that winning record. The last time they beat Catonsville? In 2008.

“It’s all about determination and how bad we want it,” Owens said. “We’re all in the same boat: It’s our last year, we’re all seniors and we’re just trying to put our talent to work and do better and try to go undefeated.”

First-year Bluebirds coach Andrew Goldbeck saw that determination in his players after the previous week’s 40-0 win over Dulaney.

“All of them, after the game, they were visually angry, because they knew they didn’t play as well as they could have. They won 40-0 and they were angry. It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever experienced as a coach,” said Goldbeck, who was an assistant coach for five years at Boys’ Latin before taking over the Bluebirds.

“We was hungry. We wanted to compete,” Owens said. “Every day through our practices, we work to keep winning. We have to set goals for ourselves throughout the whole season and make ourselves better. We want to challenge ourselves. It wasn’t like Dulaney was bad or anything like that, we just want to compete to the end like a shootout like [Friday] night.”

Until the Bluebirds met Catonsville, they had not yielded a touchdown. They scored first against the Comets, but Catonsville game back to tie. The Bluebirds, who got two touchdown passes from quarterback Jaleel Feggins to wide receiver Chrishawn Lewis, scored 21 points in the
fourth quarter.

Goldbeck said his defensive line was the key to holding off the Comets and defensive end Desmond Kelly and linebacker Dennis Harrell played key roles.

The coach said he was pleased with his players’ ability to bounce back during the game when they were facing their toughest competition to date.

“This week, they were a little happier. They played well and there was a lot of adversity. We left two touchdown on the field in the first half. Two drives, we just stalled out and didn’t get it done. We missed a field goal at one point, but we just kept on going.”

One of the seniors, tackle Jamil Keita, suffered a torn ACL in the season opener and Owens said the players have rallied around him.

“He was our starting tackle and he was like our driver,” Owens said. “Now he gives us all this motivation and we’re all feeding off him, so we’re trying to get all these wins to help make up for his injury.”

Kenwood is one of only two undefeated teams in Baltimore County, along with Dundalk, and is one of three undefeated teams in Class 4A East region. The Bluebirds are in second place in 4A East behind Paint Branch, which has a slight lead thanks to more bonus points for beating teams with better records. Howard is third.

The Bluebirds didn’t spend but a few minutes enjoying the win over Catonsville, because they have just started a tough five-game schedule against the best teams in Baltimore County’s Division I. They host Milford Mill Friday at 7 p.m. before playing Dundalk, Franklin and Perry Hall – all contenders for the division title.

They were right back to work Monday afternoon.

“Those senior are really good kids who all they want to do is win,” Goldbeck said, “and they’ll do whatever it takes to win. They’ve just got heart and determination and they’ll run through that wall. We’ll be tested in the upcoming weeks and they’ll be ready.”

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