Montevallo Middle Football finishes undefeated seasonPublished 4:22pm Sunday, November 10, 2013
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
The Montevallo Middle School Bulldogs capped off a perfect 8-0 season with a win over Fultondale on Oct. 22.
The group, made up of 26 seventh and eighth graders, faced several uphill battles during the season, said head coach Daniel Richards.
“We had a small group, but we had a good group,” he said. “We started out with 17-18. We had a few quit and move. I asked the players, (and) they felt we needed a few more.”
The coaches then asked around the school for students interested in playing to come out, resulting in players that ended up being major contributors joining the team.
The Bulldogs were undersized in numbers compared to most of their competition, but found ways to win, Richards said.
“Most of the teams we played were larger,” he said. “(It was) one of those things where everything fell into place. We had good leaders, avoided injuries and they never got complacent.”
The team started the season with a win over Columbiana Middle on Aug. 29, and rolled off wins over Clanton, Vincent and Jemison among others along the way.
There was one win in particular that gave the team a boost in confidence, Daniels said.
“It (was) Calera,” he said. “The head coach is one of my best friends. (They have) tons of athletes and a good program. It was a hard-fought game, the first game we faced adversity.”
Winning the game was “like getting an elephant off our back,” he said.
The squad featured a core group of players that have been together from youth league football, and were led by team elected captains Daqwan Bryant, K.O. Brown, Ahmad Edwards and TaVarius Holman. In addition, the team featured wide receiver/defensive back Sarah King.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a girl,” said Daniels. “She earned her place. She wasn’t scared.”
While the championship was great for the middle school, Daniels said he felt it helped the high school program as well.
“I know from the outside it looks like the varsity has issues,” he said. “Coach Zow’s had to start a lot of (younger players). It helps to have talented kids coming up. The kids want to win. I know the future is bright. I know it will get better.”