Rhodes making impact not just on field


Sebastian Gutierrez, Staff Writer

With the start of a school year comes along the start of a new football season, and what a football season the Kahoks have had so far. They are currently on an undefeated 6-0 win streak which has seen the likes of teams like Alton, which suffered a devastating 41-0 blowout loss to the Kahoks, crumble into pieces. This success can in large part be attributed to the new leadership the Kahoks have gained in their new head coach, Colton Rhodes. 

“I think that definitely the talent is here this season,” Rhodes said. ”I think it’s been here for a while. I think this year the total team has bought in really and kind of given that family atmosphere that I preached about to them. They are really just hanging out and enjoying time with each other.”

The family environment not only affects the players on the field and in practice, but it also has expanded to how the players act off the field. Junior Quarterback Kolby Anderson, who has led the Kahoks to these victories, had this to say on Rhodes’ impact on the team.

“Coach Rhodes is a great coach,” said Anderson. “He’s done everything for all of us players to get us where we are now. More importantly for me he’s made a huge impact on my life. He’s not only a coach but a father figure not just myself but the rest of the team.  He believes in all of us each and every Friday and we make sure to put on a show for a guy who deserves it.”

First off, I love that that is something that they would say about me so that’s awesome that they see that in me,” Rhodes said.  “It’s just being able to show the kids that  I care about them, not just on the football field but also at practice. It’s caring about whether they are getting good grades, whether they are behaving in the classroom and what they are doing outside of school to benefit them and the future. It’s awesome to see what my players think.”

We are scheduled to play Mt. Zion this Friday at the Kahok Football Field. If we win, this will be our 7th win in our undefeated charge towards the playoffs.

“The biggest challenge is to make sure we keep the boys’ heads on straight, make sure we are focused on winning, going 7-0, getting this next win and making sure we can qualify for playoffs,” said Coach Rhodes. “Keeping everyone focused on the one goal which is to win with everything else going on.” 

The current record leads to the highly likelihood that the team will make it to the playoffs. The last two teams on the calendar include an away game against Marquette Catholic, and season closer at home against Centralia. Will anyone stop this streak?

“They are all gonna be tough games especially with us being undefeated. Everybody is gonna come here, into Collinsville or wherever we are playing our game at and wanna beat us,” said Rhodes. “They want to be the team that breaks the undefeated record. So, as long as this undefeated season goes on, the harder each games gonna get because they are going to throw their best at us.”

Coach Rhodes is a Belleville East graduate who had made the playoffs twice in his time playing varsity football as a tight end under the leadership of Coach Funk. He now wants to give his players that opportunity and experience of making and playing in the playoffs. The Kahoks have never had a postseason victory, so a win like that would certainly boost the morale of not only the players but also the school. 

Mr. Rhodes is also the instructor of the Athletic P.E. program that the school offers its athletes. Some student athletes who are not a part of the football program feel that the workouts are geared more towards the football players rather than athletes as a whole. 

“Right now we are trying to develop an entire athlete and athletic PE program,” he clarified. “While it is definitely geared towards football players, it’s also geared towards the basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball and soccer players. I’m working with all the coaches as well, to make sure that we are hitting all the important muscle groups that will help everyone with the program.”

Colton Rhodes would like to be a long term Collinsville Coach. He’s a Collinsville native that interacts with the community and even gets the occasional parent that recognizes and greets him in public. 

“My goal is to be the Collinsville Football coach as long as they will have me,” explained Rhodes. 

Would Coach Rhodes be interested in coaching other sports at Collinsville?

“Yeah, I’ve coached middle school track and basketball. We’ll see if I dip my toes and do some coaching in those programs at the high school,” stated Rhodes. “Definitely not against it, but let’s see where this takes us after this season. Football is the focus. We still have four games and hopefully more after that.”