By Travis Smola
While Vicksburg’s varsity football team didn’t have quite the year it had hoped for in 2018, the 7th grade team shows the future is very bright for the Bulldogs.
That’s because the 7th graders finished with a perfect 6-0 record on the season. “I think they surpassed all expectations and the future looks very bright for them,” Head Coach Jeffery Smith said. That may be bit of an understatement. The first indication this was going to be a special year came in the opening game of the year when they defeated powerhouse Edwardsburg 22-0.
Smith is a Vicksburg graduate who also brought his experience of playing for Western to the team. This was his second year of coaching this team. He has worked with the boys, including his son, a few times over the years with four years in the rocket football program.
The shutout was just the first of many to come as Vicksburg outscored their opponents all season. At the end of the year they had an incredible stat. “We outscored our opponents 200-0,” Smith said.
As the season wore on, the push to keep opponents off the scoreboard became a rallying cry. “Their defensive coach (Brandon) Wadley put it in their head ‘We’re not going to get scored upon,’ and they really bought into that and were determined to make that happen,” Smith said.
While the win against Edwardsburg was impressive, Smith said the Otsego game was probably their biggest victory of the year. That particular Otsego team had not lost in rocket football in three years. Vicksburg topped them 38-0.
“Walking off the field their coaches were like ‘Man, your kids can hit, block at all levels, they didn’t miss tackles,’” Smith said. He added that they had 21 players and 18 of them started at some point. “It was a total team effort,” he said.
It’s safe to say the future is looking really bright for Bulldog football.