After the high school squads finished up their pre-seasons on Friday night, it was time for the younger gridiron stars to take the field on Saturday in the final tuneup for their regular seasons. The growing football program at North Adams hosted the “2014 Kickoff Classic” on Aug. 23, giving fans a chance to see some of the up and coming football talent that this area has to offer.
“The day was a huge success,” said Justin Schmitz, one of the North Adams coaches and organizers of the event. “We had over 300 young men on the field on Saturday. It was an overwhelming sight to see the families of all those kids come out in support.”
“I want to thank the administrators of the Adams County School District, our parents, our players, and all those who helped make this event a huge success.”
On the field, there were a pair of junior high match ups scheduled for the day. Host North Adams battled a tough Milford squad with the visiting Eagles taking a 30-6 victory. Milford scored a touchdown late in the first quarter and another late in the second period to lead 12-0 at the half.
After the Eagles had added three more touchdowns, the Devils finally got on the board with three minutes to play on a 65-yard touchdown run by quarterback James Coday, making the final 30-6 Milford.
Even with the loss, Coach Schmitz was happy with what he saw from the Devils on the field.
“Our young guys are adapting to our offensive and defensive schemes very well,” said Schmitz. “They are continuing to build on what they learned last year. They all played sound fundamental football and I am thoroughly impressed with the job that all of our youth coached have done with our kids.”
On the stat sheet, halfback Collin Hesler paced the Devils with 70 yards rushing, followed by Coday with 65, fullback Evan Harrison with 25, and fullback Elijah Madden adding 20.
“Milford played well but I was extremely proud of how our boys battled through adversity,” added Schmitz. “They never gave up and ended the game on a positive note.”
The North Adams junior high boys will be back in action this Saturday at noon in West Union.
Also on the field on Saturday was the junior high squad from West Union and the Dragons looked sharp in rolling to a 38-6 win over Eastern Brown. It didn’t take long for the Dragons to get on the board as as they got a 65-yard touchdown run from Jordan Hendricks on their first play from scrimmage.
On their next possession, the Dragons got a 60-yard TD run from Clayton Madden plus a two-point conversion to lead 16-0. Another Hendricks touchdown run and conversion gave West Union a 24-0 halftime advantage.
Early in the third quarter, West Union recovered an Eastern fumble and that led to a scoring run by Dylan Grooms and a two-point conversion by Elijah Hays. After Eastern finally got on the board, the Dragons answered with a long drive that resulted in Grooms’ second touchdown run, this one from 35 yards away, that made the final count 38-6.
The Kickoff Classic also included two preview games featuring elementary teams from Manchester, West Union, North Adams, and Eastern Brown.