Caytlin Pendleton Managing Editor
On November 1 of 2019 Kearns beat Hunter in the 6A second quarter: 31- 14. A week later, Kearns was defeated by Lone Peak taking the Cougars out of the playoffs: Kearns 19 Lone Peak 37.
After 1971, the Kearns High football team exceeded expectations, after winning their last four games the Cougars beat Provo in the the final playoff game in 1972. Frank Kelkas dedicated 22 years of his life to coach young athletes to grow into strong individuals.
During the 1972 4A state championships,fans in the stands and on the sideline were on their toes. Frank Kelkas took his team to state took championships. He trained his team to keep a strong defense throughout his career as a coach.
After serving a decade of hard work at Kearns High School, Kelkas then passed away in 1975, three years after taking the varsity team to state.
During the playoffs of 1972, before entering the 4A playoffs losing against Hillcrest: 21-22, then defeated them during the second game: 30-0 on October 31 10.
On November 3, 1972 they tied with Sky View with a 22-22. A week later the Cougars found themselves playing against Bountiful Viewmont and kept a strong defense in the 4A Semifinals with a win to take home a score of 17-14, taking Bountiful out of the playoffs.
On November 17, 1972 Kearns was victorious against Provo during the 4A finals after being tied throughout the first, second, and third quarters, 7-7, the final five minutes left in the game the Cougars score that winning touchdown ending the game at Kearns 14-7.
The Cougar Claw interviewed Dean Paynter, a fullback for the Kearns Cougars back in 1972.
“It was a dream. We had worked toward that dream as a bunch of guys who had played league ball together for years. As we where driving back from Provo it was almost surreal, we didn’t quite comprehend what had happened” Payter stated.
“We just went in with a lot of confidence. We where guys that knew how to scrap,” Paynter said.
47 years later, in 2019 the Kearns Cougars still hold their ground with a strong offense, but with a stronger defense. After making it past the 6A first quarter for five straight years, they haven’t lost their sense of pride.