Firebird football players are ready to tackle Alter in crosstown tradition


Photo: Jake Shook

Head Football Coach Andy Aracri explains a drill to his players during practice. The Firebirds have been gearing up to take on their crosstown rivals, the Alter Knights, on Aug. 29.

By Jeffery Allen, Flyer Staff

If it’s late August, then it must be time for one of the most anticipated high school football games in the state. The Alter Knights will take on the Fairmont Firebirds on Friday, Aug. 29, at Roush Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

It seems everyone in Fairmont is talking about the big showdown between the crosstown rivals. Whether it’s about the actual game or what they’re going to wear, it’s a trending topic in classrooms all over FHS.

Fairmont Head Football Coach Andrew Aracri exudes a certain kind of confidence while talking about his Firebird team. “Chemistry-wise, the team is as tight as it’s ever been,” Aracri said.

The former Firebird star himself also knows it will take more than X’s and O’s to defeat Alter. “Believing that we can win is the biggest thing,” he said. “We’ve all got a common goal.”

We just need to play as a team, take care of the ball, and do what we do.”

— Corde Kyles, Firebird QB

The Fairmont-Alter game is a highly anticipated game not only in the Kettering community, but the whole state, according to Aracri.

“Time Warner did a coverage on the greatest rivalries in Ohio, and we were one of them,” the coach said. “And there’s no doubt about it, it’s a great atmosphere.”

The Firebirds will have their hands full with Alter. “They have some really good skill players,” Aracri said. “Their QB is really tough, and they have great defensive front.”

But Aracri and his team aren’t intimidated. “It’s all about being successful, fundamentally sound, and making a play,” Aracri said.

The coach said this game is all about the players, and the players have been bursting at the seams to take on the brown and gold. That includes starting quarterback Corde Kyles.

“I’m not so much nervous; it’s more of an anxious feeling,” Kyles said. “There’s a lot of weight on our shoulders to win because we haven’t in a while. We just need to play as a team, take care of the ball, and do what we do.”

Coach Aracri also noted the importance of the support of the crowd.

“As a Fairmont alumni, nothing makes me more prideful than to see our fans rockin’ and rollin’ together,” Aracri said. “We’re all Kettering, so we should all be engaged and let this be a moment for the school.”