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When he accepted the job as Daphne High School’s athletics director and head football coach, Kenny King, a Daphne graduate, knew what he wanted for the Trojans’ program: overall excellence, not just a strong football program.
The Daphne program, selected winner of this year’s Nappie Award for the Best High School Athletic Program, Baldwin Schools, offers a multitude of sports teams and activities in which its students can participate — 51 at last count.
That list includes four programs — baseball, football, volleyball and cheerleading — that boast varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams, and 18 more in which varsity and junior varsity teams are fielded.
“The biggest thing is we try to provide a program where our kids can come and compete but also enjoy playing a sport,” King said. “I think in this world, sports has grown over the years, especially over the different generations. Myself, being a former athlete, I know it is important. As sports have grown and people have recognized they can make a career out of it, sports have enhanced everything in the world.
“What we have tried to do at Daphne is provide an opportunity for students to come and enjoy sports and also come and be a kid who can compete at the highest level. We try to provide them the best coaching.”
King said having the opportunity to push the athletics program forward was attractive when he was offered the position.
“The fact that I attended Daphne, it was a big decision for me and my family at that time in our lives,” he said. “We were living out in Phoenix, Ariz., and the opportunity to be the head football coach and AD was offered to me and I was excited to move back to Alabama, and as an alum of Daphne, it was really exciting for me.
“To hear that we have been voted the number one athletic program [in Baldwin County] is exciting and that’s one of the things I wanted to do for Daphne in coming back — to get athletics in Daphne growing again and be successful again and have kids enjoy playing sports at Daphne High School.”
Having a variety of sports to offer its students was important to King, as well as girls’ athletics director Kimyatta Perry and the school’s administration. Aside from the basic sports of baseball, football, basketball and softball, Daphne also offers boys’ and girls’ tennis, golf, cross country, bowling, wrestling, indoor and outdoor track and golf, as well as esports.
“I think Daphne High School, led by our principal, Mr. [John] Comer, does a great job of finding ways for kids to be involved, and not just in sports but all around,” King said. “This is probably one of the schools with the most clubs [offered] than anyone. Our school strives to offer things so kids can be involved in things other than just academics. We have so many clubs that kids can join and we have so many athletic teams so as many kids as possible will have many things they can do as far as after-school activities in which to be involved.”
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