7th-graders undefeated in football | CraigDailyPress.com

7th-graders undefeated in football

The seventh grade football team finished the year undefeated.

That’s typical for Craig Middle School.

The eighth grade finished 4-3, that’s not typical.

For eighth-grade coach Gary Tague, his team’s 22-6 loss to Steamboat Springs on Saturday was the first time he’s lost in a season finale.

“We had two very good football teams beat us this year,” coach Tague said.

The Bulldogs lost twice to Steamboat and once to Meeker during the season.

“Meeker was a very physical team,” Tague said. “They’ll make some noise at that level the next couple of years.”

It didn’t help the eighth-grade team that one of their best players last year was a member of the rival team this year.

“Cody Harris may have been our most dominating player in seventh grade,” Tague said. “He was in a Steamboat uniform his year.”

Tague also noted inexperience as a hindrance.

“We had some new guys come out, which is good,” he said. “But they were still learning and the little things got us here and there.”

Despite the losses, the coach said his players always kept working to get better.

“This group had really good attitudes,” he said. “They worked hard and responded to coaching.”

Seventh-grade coach Mike LeWarne said his team was blessed with speed.

“Teams couldn’t catch our backfield,” he said. “It also helped that we were strong up the middle.”

LeWarne said his team put games out of reach early in all but one. In the final and closest game of the season, the Bulldogs beat Steamboat, 22-12, to finish 7-0.

“I’ve coached for seven years now, and every year, it seems like the kids come up more fundamentally sound,” he said. “The Pee Wee program in Craig is preparing the kids well.”

Like Tague, LeWarne said he was impressed with his players’ attitudes.

“They went into every game with the right mindset,” he said. “It was a fun group to coach.”

The boys didn’t have much time to rest after the football season. Basketball practice starts this week.

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