Senior cornerback Kabion Ento wanted to play football for the Dollarway Cardinals for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he would go with his family to games, hoping one day he would get to play at Cardinal Stadium.
“I’ve been going to games for long as I remember,” Ento said. “I’ve wanted to be a Cardinal every since I was little.
“It meant a lot to me (to play for this team). It teaches you how to have heart and how to work hard, even though you have less than others.”
Ento, who is the Southeast Arkansas Defensive Player of the Year, said playing for Dollarway has “meant a lot to my whole family.”
“It is like one big happy family here,” Ento said. “I love it.”
As a senior, Ento had nine interceptions including three returned for touchdowns. He also had 32 solo tackles, 27 assists and six tackles for losses.
“I have a lot of my confidence in myself,” Ento said. “I feel like I can do anything.
“…I knew my teammates had my back if I made a mistake. There wasn’t really anything to worry about.”
Dollarway finished the regular season undefeated and made it to the semifinals before being eliminated 43-14 by eventual 4A state champion Booneville.
Going into the season, Ento and his teammates believed they had a chance at winning the state championship.
“Obviously, we didn’t get the goal that we wanted,” Ento said. “But we thought we could win state after the first day.
“We knew it would take a lot of work. But it was shocking to me because I thought it would be tougher.
“But everyone knew their role and it really clicked.”
Ento said his role on the team was being a leader and making sure everyone knew his assignment.
“If I was on the sideline or on the field at practice, I talk to them and give them suggestions. I want to help anyway I can.”
Ento said his main role is to take care of the right side of the field.
“I have to make sure the whole right side is shut down,” Ento said. “I would really hold the main receiver and if needed, I would come up and make the tackle.”
Ento said the main thing that separates him from other cornerbacks is his aggressiveness.
“Not many corners in high school play aggressive,” Ento said. “But I’m not afraid to get up in their face.”
Booneville had a 20-0 lead by hafltime thanks to two turnovers by Dollarway. It was the largest deficit the Cardinals had faced all season.
“I feel like we should have won,” Ento said. “Some people might say it was because it was cold, or the coaching or some say we might have been outplayed.
“It was lot of missed opportunities. We could have won, we just didn’t make the plays necessary.”
Offensively, Ento had 21 catches for 684 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also plays basketball for the Cardinals – who made it to the state championship game last season.
He has received a lot of attention from state colleges including a scholarship offer from UAPB.
“It makes me feel good a little bit,” Ento said. “Coaches are recognizing me and it shows that I was doing right on the field and I have to do even better off the field.
“Hard work does pay off. Hopefully I will get a couple of more scholarship offers.”
Ento has also received interest from Arkansas Tech, Henderson State and Arkansas-Monticello.
“As far as school-wise, I would love to play Division I and on Saturdays, but I will play for whoever is going to pay for my school,” Ento said. “Right now, UAPB is the only one paying for my school.”
Ento said his schooling is very important to him and he would like to study physical therapy, physical education or computer graphics.