The Men Behind the Helmets

By Izzy Pankey

Football season is officially finished, but for the boys who spent their fall playing their hearts out on the field, it’s their new beginning in highschool. What does the quarterback do when he can’t play football? How does the linemen plan to spend his time when he’s not winning the state championship? We wanted to find out. The Torch talked to some of the Jenks football team captains to get to know more about these boys’ plans now that football season has ended. 

An offensive lineman, Logan Nobles, 12, was one of the team’s captains this season, and impressed us all when at the beginning of the season he committed to Oklahoma State University for football, and then went on to play an amazing season, impressing us even more. This season, Nobles even made First Team All District. 

In school, Nobles is involved in ASL and outside of school he spends a lot of time with family and going off-roading. One of Nobles’s biggest fans is his dad. His dad could be spotted at any football game with his face painted up, ready to support his son and the team. 

Logan Nobles’ dad at the state championship supporting his son.

Nobles says that football has “made [him] a better man”, helped him overcome adversity, and “help[ed him] create a really good work ethic.”

As a soon to be division 1 college athlete, Nobles plans to spend his Spring working to get ready for OSU. 

Nobles and his family at his official signing for OSU. (Photo from Jenks Athletics)

A player who recently made his commitment to the University of Tulsa, and a captain on the team is Stephen Kittleman, 12, Jenks’ star quarterback. As well as the accomplishment of winning the state championship, Kittleman also was awarded Academic All Conference Honors and 6A District 1 Player of the year. 

Off the field, Kittleman is involved in Stuco, FCA, NHS, DFY, and DECA, and when he’s not at school, some of his other activities are fishing, wakeboarding, skiing, golfing, and hanging out with his family and friends. 

Now that football season is over, Kittleman is now a player on the Jenks Varsity Basketball team. He’ll also be spending the Spring preparing for college at TU where he will major in either science or finance. 

Kittleman at the Jenks VS Muskogee basketball game this season.

While the season may be over, Kittleman says that football will forever be something that greatly affected his life. 

“I will be forever grateful for the game of football,” Says Kittleman. “It has provided me with so many relationships and so many different opportunities in life.”

A person who affected his life, not only on the field, is Coach Allan Trimble. While he was only coached under him for one year, Trimble taught him lessons in not only football, but also in life, that were amazing for Kittleman. 

“He showed me how to grow in my faith, live with humility, and to love everyone you come into contact with. I am so grateful that I had a relationship with him.” Says Kittleman. 

Another player who has worked hard and been a name for the team this season is Griffin Forbes, 12, who plays running back, safety, and sometimes linebacker. Forbes took it as a big accomplishment to be named a team captain this season. 

While a major player on the field, Forbes is a major player in all types of school activities as well. 

“I am involved in Student Council, Deca, Drug Free Youth, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and YoungLife leadership,” Forbes says. “I am a captain on the varsity football team and am a two-time captain on the varsity lacrosse team. I am involved in our Student Body Leadership class as well as participate in being an acolyte at my church.”

While being busy in all these school activities, Forbes still finds time to hang out with friends, go lifting, and hang out with his family. Forbes’s dad, Chuck Forbes, has been an important part of his football experience and helping him build his faith. Chuck has been a constant provider of support and motivation for Forbes, and could always be found on the sideline before the game, cheering his son on before he takes the field. 

Forbes and his family in 2019 after the Boys Lacrosse team won the state championship.

For the Spring, Forbes plans to focus on playing lacrosse and figuring out where he will be going for college. His sophomore year, Forbes won the state championship with his team, and the team was on track to win last year, but the season got cut short due to Covid-19. 

Football has given Forbes many memories with some of his best friends. It has also taught him tons of life lessons about his faith, discipline, and even how to overcome adversity. 

“Being  a part of something greater than yourself affected not just the football season, it even affects others and your own life.” Forbes says. “ I have learned a lot about my faith through the football program and it has allowed for me to truly make an informed decision about what the next chapter of this life has in store.”

The final player who we caught up with about their future plans, is Hayden Crawley, 12, who plays center and guard. Crawley, just like Nobles, made the All District First team. 

Outside of football, Crawley is the president of SWAT(Students Working Against Tobacco). He spends his time outside of school playing with his dogs and hanging out with his family. Just like the other boys, Crawley’s dad has been a big influence on his football career, pushing him to become a better player and do his best. He also says his football coaches have helped him a lot. 

“Every coach I’ve had from day one has helped me become the best football player and man I can be,” Crawley says. 

Crawley plans to spend his spring wrestling. While Crawley is a strong football player, he is also a great wrestler in the Spring season.

Crawley at a wrestling dual in the Spring of 2020 before the season was cancelled.

His spring will also be spent trying to figure out where he wants to go to college. He has a strong passion for football, and wants to come back and coach for Jenks later in his life. 

These boys have shaped the rest of their lives on this team, and the experiences they have learned will be with them forever. While football is a big part of their lives, we know that they have a whole world outside of the sport that we tried to get to  know. 

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