DAYTON, Ohio — The Withrow University High School football team accomplished something that has not been done in more than a century, winning their first playoff game in 102 years. After such a successful season, it’s the character of the players on the team that’s being commended.
After the team stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in the Dayton area ahead of their game against Piqua, hotel manager Jace Elliot wrote a letter to the school saying in part, “The Withrow football team has been the single best group to have come through our hotel.”
“I was so very excited,” said Principal Jerron Gray. “I got the letter actually before game time, so really, to me, the game had already been won.”
The letter complimented the team for cleaning up after themselves, studying in the lobby and behaving respectfully throughout their stay.
“This is something that the coaching staff and people inside the building we already know,” head coach Kali Jones said. “We have an awesome group of kids, awesome group of young men, and they come from some tough and challenging backgrounds, but these are some great kids, awesome kids and this is what they do.”
Sophomore Terhyon Nichols said he was surprised upon receiving the letter.
“I didn’t know people would look at us like that, coming from the school we go to," Nichols said.
But senior Johmir Harris said this is how they always behave when they travel as a team, saying the group is "just family." Jones said the staff's goal is to build upstanding young men.
“So you know, once somebody sees them they'll say, that's a Withrow man and that's what makes us proud," Jones said.
Despite their loss to Piqua on Friday, Gray said they are still champions.
“Even moreso they're champions because of how they conducted themselves outside of the field of play," Gray said.