Wednesday, September 25, 2013

kingwood christian lions.

What would it take to turn around a varsity football team from a losing season to a winning season? Would it be fresh plays, a new head coach, experienced players, mature decision making or determination? I would argue all of the above. That is exactly what is happening at Kingwood Christian School this year.

The Kingwood Lions ended their 2012 season with a record of 3-7. The 2013 Varsity Football team is currently sitting comfortably in both their region and overall rankings with a 4-1 season so far.
Kingwood Christian School welcomed Steve Birmingham as the new head coach this season and he has proved to bring a fresh fire to the team.

The team consists of 31 players with incredible talent.

2013 Kingwood Lions Varsity Football Roster
(information via
There are many aspects that I could look at and write about, but I want everyone to know the heart behind this amazing group of guys. I went to Kingwood for 12 years and I believe that we only had an incredible season where play offs were reached ONE time. Play offs are already within reach for this years team and it makes me SO happy to be able to watch these guys week after week.
Arguably one of the main players to watch, Gavin Sumrall (#15), is a senior at Kingwood Christian School. Gavin is the quarterback for the Lions. He is exactly the type of quarterback that a team could wish for. He is smart, patient and calm when controlling the ball. I asked Gavin what he felt were some responsibilities he should strive to have as a quarterback. Gavin responded, "The same responsibilities of being a leader such as acting as a coach on the field and having tough skin. When things are going bad, everyone blames you. At the same time, you have to be humble because when things happen to be going great, everyone attributes that to you." I mean, it's obvious from this response that Gavin has his priorities straight. I also asked him what would be one piece of advice he would tell young quarterbacks. He responds, "I would tell a young quarterback to work on his football IQ. A well developed knowledge of the game can help in decision making."

Gavin has won several awards this season already, most recently Birmingham Metro Football Player of the Week.
Not far behind (literally) Gavin Sumrall is younger brother, Gage Sumrall (#1). Gage is a junior at Kingwood Christian School and he serves the teams on both offense and defense. Gavin and Gage have had several touchdown passes this season so far. They are an extremely fun pair of siblings to watch. Gage is a leader on defense, averaging 8 tackles per game. Gage is a go to on offense as well with 151 receiving yards this year. I asked Gage what the team "theme" was this year, how he felt about having such great fan turn outs this year and what his favorite connecting play with older brother, Gavin, has been so far this season. He responded, "The theme would be NOISE. Not just on the field but everywhere I go there is someone talking about the team or the game. It's great to actually SEE a good fan base. It's the first time in a long time that we're a part of a team like this and I can tell everyone in the stands are excited. My favorite play this season was when Gavin threw the ball to me and I got my first ever touchdown in the Bessemer Academy game."
Senior Montez Haynes (#5) is also a senior at Kingwood Christian School. Montez ended the 2012 football season with almost 1,000 receiving yards. This year, only after week 5, Montez already has 646 receiving yards. Sumrall and Haynes match ups lead to touchdowns almost as many times as they lead to first downs. With such high receiving numbers, I figured there may be a little pressure that comes with football. I asked Montez what sort of pressures there were during the games to be able to complete the plays and he responded, "I deal with the pressure by trusting in my team to do what they have to do so I don't stress and try to do everyone else's job. If I try to do another job, I may mess myself up in the process. You have to trust in your team." I also asked him what his most memorable moment of this season was so far when he answered, obviously, with the following, "winning all these games."
C'Yontai Lewis (#8) is new to Kingwood this year and he is definitely making up for lost time as part of the Lion team. C'Yontai has 6 touchdowns this year and 34 tackles (24 of said tackles being solo ones). C'Yontai is a Florida Gator commit and his performances prove why such a powerful SEC school has already claimed him. I asked C'Yontai why he started playing football and how he handled the stress of being such a "high profile" player. C'Yontai responded, "I started playing football because where I come from you don't have many other options. You either play ball or you will be someone who will look back and say how you wish you would've played. I handle the stress by praying and talking to myself. Then, I go play ball." And that's exactly what he does. He goes and he plays some football.


Every player is an intricate part of the Lion football team this year. I asked Sophomore Mitchell Carter (#14) how the team re-grouped during half time when they were down. He said that they look at the second half of the game like every play is the last one. They turn it all the way up (performance, encouragement and faith) in the second half. Fellow Sophomore Buddy Kittrell (#3) states that the most helpful "piece" of football he has learned is how to form a great tackle.

Most of the Kingwood Lions have been playing football for years. They are leaders. They are knowledgeable of the game. They are respectable. They are determined. I can't wait to see how far they make it this year. If you're ever in Alabaster on a Friday night home game, be SURE to stop by and support them. Actually, they'll have a home game this Friday at 7. See y'all there!






All photos courtesy of Diane Cunningham. All stats per All answers per players quoted.  


  1. Wow. Maybe you should take Erin Andrews job. GREAT reporting, girl!! KCS has a fan rooting for them all the way in Michigan. I'm so excited. What a great group of men!


  2. This post brought back so many chill bumps! I'm so happy that you are such a great supporter of the team. I agree with Jan, watch out Erin Andrews. You should do weekly updates for us.


  3. I, as well as the other ladies, LOVE your support and I feel like I'm a momma of the team, too! This is great!! KCS has some amazing players this year! Good Luck!!

  4. I'm a football DAD in the area. This is incredible. Props to you for writing this article and props to some talented guys. Neat how you linked their names to their stat sheets. Very cool.

    Dan Franklin

  5. Katelyn,

    I found your blog through way of a friend. We are stationed in Japan for a year but started following your blog earlier this summer. What a small world. My family lives in Helena when we aren't in Japan. We loved keeping up with Kingwood. It's great to see them have so much success from working so hard. Brave of you to write such an insider post. Bravo. We are following along.

  6. This post has me pumped for the game this Friday. We will be out of town but I'd consider driving next week almost two hours to support them. What a great group of men. Those Sumrall boys are racking up the yards.

  7. Great post Katelyn!! I graduated from Kingwood almost ten years ago and was at a game recently and I loved all the fans in the stands. And, I loved you screaming, errr, cheering and the guy yelling at the ref with the white hat. :) Entertaining, and glad they won!

  8. Wonderful post! It's always fun to see a high school doing so well with so much support from fans. This may be down a different path than a "lifestyle" blog but it was a brilliant idea!

  9. We need an update!