COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Westerville North ended its regular season with a nail-biting 22-21 win over Worthington Kilbourne on a blocked field goal to give the Warriors a 5-1 record, their first winning season since 2004.
“We know what people think about Westerville North football and we’re trying to change that,” said head coach Bryan Johnson.
Johnson, in his third year at North, led the charge in changing that narrative, and the Warriors five wins during this shortened season are more than his first two years combined.
‘It feels amazing. I mean coming to North, [there’s] not a lot of expectations,” said senior lineman Reuben Simiyu. “Everyone thinks we’re bad every year, but we’re still a good program. We’re not just a toss away. We’re still here.”
The entire town of Westerville found that out in Week 3 when North played their rival Westerville South. The Warriors led by four heading into the 4th quarter and lost 32-28 to the No. 4 ranked team in Division 2 of the OHSAA.
‘We’re not just some team that gets kicked around anymore. We’re here to play football,” said senior running back and linebacker Brennan Albertini.
And they’re doing it under Johnson who promised stability after years of coaches coming and going.
“I live right down the street and I told them [during my interview] that my kids are going to come to North, that we were going to be here for the long haul,” Johnson said. ‘I think the kids just needed to see someone that’s going to commit themselves to longer than two to three years.”
The Warriors will now prepare to play New Albany in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think it’s great for the program and it’s great for the school,” Albertini said. “It’s very special because I’ve put in a lot of hard work myself just for this moment and to get a winning season.”