by Emily Engle
Bellbrook senior Alex Fryman described the football team’s season perfectly when he stated, “Our senior class prides itself on being the first class to bring Bellbrook back to where we should be, back to the glory days.” He was referencing Bellbrook’s recent SWBL championship title and advancement all the way to regional semifinals competition before they fell to Trotwood-Madison.
Starting the season, coaches and staff hoped for wins and titles as they would any year, but they knew nothing was guaranteed. Head football coach Kevin Basinger spoke about how any success in the upcoming season would have to come from the senior players. Unfortunately for the team, however, Bellbrook lost its first two games in competition against Miamisburg and Xenia.
A quick turnaround, though, came with the team’s next three games and three unexpected wins. Bellbrook beat Buckeye Valley, Brookville, and Eaton, all by narrow margins. This began what ultimately became a six-game winning streak for Bellbrook, with three shutouts in a row against Valley View, Franklin, and Northridge.
By this time, SWBL attention was on Bellbrook; previously disregarded as a competitor from their season-opening losses, the Eagles were now contenders for the league title, which was to be decided in a game against the Monroe Hornets. Bellbrook won 21 – 10, taking the SWBL title for the first time since 2004.
Next, the Eagles progressed into playoff games. Sitting as a No. 7 seed, Bellbrook was matched against No. 2 seed Bellefontaine and surprised fans again with an 18 – 13 win to continue into regional semifinals. In their next match against Trotwood-Madison though, Bellbrook lost 41 – 6, ending their season. Despite the loss, the community is nothing but proud; in fact, the Dayton Daily News declared Bellbrook’s season the “best in resilience.”
And Coach Basinger is just as proud, adding, “It means everything to our program, to our community, to our kids. This is a long time coming. We’ve had quite a dry spell. I just love these kids…they just work their tails off and they never quit believing. We’ve put ourselves in a lot of situations this year where we’ve been behind or really dug ourselves a hole, and we just found a way. We just find a way.”