The Schuyler Middle School eighth-grade football team recently completed its season with a sparkling record of 5-1.
The team was led by head coach Robin Burton, offensive coordinator Aaron Thumann and assistant coach James Kaiser.
Burton said that his team played well on both sides of the ball but that their defensive tenacity is what led the squad to such a successful campaign.
“Our goal was to play defense fast and furious," he said. "We wanted to cause multiple turnovers throughout the season. We wanted to get 11 guys to the ball and create takeaways.”
Burton said that another reason for his team’s success had to do with its strong work ethic.
“We take a lot of pride in being physical in practice, and I think that helped us on game day,” he said.
The offense played out of the shotgun formation, where execution and big plays were the key.
Quarterback Luis Genchi led an offense that featured multiple big-play receivers. On the ground, running backs Aiden Kronberg, Kelbin Escobar, Trey Svatora, and Jason Luarca pounded out first downs and broke big plays for the young Warriors.
“It was great to see our players come together more and more each week," Thurman said. "They focused on doing their individual jobs at a high level and because of that we saw our team have success.”
Coach Burton also complimented the team’s offensive linemen as being an important reason for the success of the squad.
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“Credit goes to our offensive line as well," he said. "They were clearly the most improved unit throughout the fall.”
The eighth grade opened the season with a 16-0 win over Crete. The only loss of the season came the following game in a three-overtime thriller to David City 20-14. The Warriors then finished the season with four straight victories over Columbus Lakeview 30-8, West Point-Beemer 20-14, Wayne 41-14 and Seward 28-0.
“Our coaches and players worked hard this fall, but the primary credits goes to a group of players and coaches that worked throughout the spring and summer to get better," Burton said. "Coach Thumann and varsity assistant coach Jason Wehner deserve a lot of credit for their off season work with our middle school offensive skill players.”
A Dugout Extra
Friday night, Marv Aldrich was honored at halftime of the Schuyler-South Sioux football game. For the few who don’t know, Marv is the man who does such a magnificent job of keeping the playing fields in Schuyler so immaculate.
The football field is in pristine condition at all times and has been compared to artificial turf fields because of its impressive showing throughout the entire football season.
I have seen first-hand the amazing work that Marv does with the field. For eight years, Schuyler hosted a marching competition on the football field. I heard compliment after compliment how great the field looked and how it was in such amazing condition for being the middle of October. I would always say, 'You can thank Marv for that.'
He has always taken pride in keeping the fields looking amazing, and as he has said time and time again, 'I do it for the kids and for the community.' Anyone who knows Marv knows that he is a humble man and that his sentiments are truly how he feels.
Marv will be retiring at the end of this year and we all owe him a huge thank you for the amazing work he has done at SCHS for over 30 years and a big congratulations for the recognition that he received last Friday night. It was truly well deserved by an amazing man.
Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net.