East St. Louis High School Football Flyers

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Jennifer Silverberg

In the tense moments before the opening post season game, the only sounds in the locker room are cleats clicking the linoleum floor and the squish shoulder pads make when arms move.

The East St. Louis Senior High Flyers have won more high school football games than any other program in the country. Even though the city is hemorrhaging population-- over the last five years, the team school's enrollment has dropped by 25 percent -- head coach Darren Sunkett has rebuilt the program into a powerhouse. After getting kicked out of the playoffs last season for playing an ineligible athlete, the Flyers had much to prove this year, as evidence by their motto "Unfinished Business." The team finished the season 9-3, tied at the top of the conference, and made the playoffs for the twelfth straight year under Sunkett. They eventually lost in the quarter finals. Here are images from their 33-7 win over Granite City High School in the first round of the playoffs. Photos by Jennifer Silverberg. Read Albert Samaha's feature about Sunkett and his Flyers.