By R. Alan Richardson
Middle School football finished up the season in the PAC playoffs this week against Youth Middle School losing 21-0. The Bulldogs lost to them 42-7 in an earlier regular season game. The vast improvement is a credit to the coaches and players against a talented opponent. Middle School football finished the season 3-4 on the season with wins over: Loganville in double OT to start the season, Carver, and Social Circle. The Bulldogs lost to Youth, Putnam in OT, and Monticello in another close game.
Coach Aaron Paul said, “This was one of the best teams that I have coached overall in my four years as head coach at the Middle School. Our guys constantly practiced very well all summer and fall, they worked hard in the weight room all summer, and always kept fighting no matter what the situation was.”
The Dogs have made the PAC playoffs each of the past four seasons with Paul at the helm of the program. The head man plans to use the off season to work on improving the program implementing a weight training program for his team. “Despite our record not being where we want it, I have full confidence that our kids are prepared and ready to go for our High School program. When comparing our program to others I would like to note that Middle School Championships don’t always lead to championships at the high school level, and that is very obvious if you pay attention to Middle School and High School opponents. I feel like our program is doing what we need to prepare our kids for the next level. I look forward to a great off-season for our kids and working on building our team’s strength in the off season.”
The High School coaching staff certainly has their eyes on some of these up-and-coming players. Some will likely play pivotal roles for the big boys as freshmen. “I really enjoyed this season with the coaching staff and the players. We have some very talented and hardworking kids that are moving up to the High School next year: Zach Moore, Talan Fuller, Antavious Elder, David Betrand, Caleb Riser, Drew Cole, Jaydon Dorsey, Darius Jackson, Jackson Ward, Layton Black, Omar Hayes, and Brody Watkins are just a few to name. I could put the entire eighth grade roster up here and talk about how each kid has an opportunity to contribute at the high school level,” continued Paul.
With another outstanding season under their belt, the coaching staff is now looking to the future. Paul ended with these thoughts. “Despite our record not falling like we wanted it to, I can honestly say that I, all of the coaches, and the players had a ton of fun this season. I can also honestly say that every kid on our roster got better this season at practice and in the weight room, and our kids did a great job responding to adversity all season long. I felt like I got better as a coach this season both in the game and managing the middle school program as a whole.”