Middle School Football Preview


Coby Leibowitz

Eighth grader Danny Rexroad looks for a lane during football practice on August 26, 2014.

Football is back! Both the seventh and eighth-grade team and sixth-grade team are hoping to have successful seasons this year after both teams experienced the opposite ends of the spectrum in 2013. The seventh and eighth-grade team made the conference championship and nearly won the title while the sixth-grade team went winless. “We are going to be as good as we want to be,” remarked head football coach and middle school P.E. instructor Mr. Gregory Keller. “We are going to have a good season this year,” added Mr. Michael Durrette, who is the team’s defensive coordinator. “Last year the guys were a little bigger, but we will be okay. I pray we will win all the games this year.”

Coach Keller, Coach Durrette, and Mr. Bob Bayless (offensive coordinator) will once again coach the seventh and eighth-grade team this year. Last year the squad’s only loss came in the title game as they were narrowly beaten by Doral. Many star players moved from eighth grade to ninth grade such as Will Nicklaus, Burnham Lewis, and Ethan Denenberg. However, the team still has a solid core of eighth-grade veterans such as JoJo LaBovick, Jack Keiser, Joe Mariani, and Nick St. Amand.

Last year’s football season for the sixth graders was a losing one. Although the players tried their hardest, it was not enough to win a game. “Last football season was a win without the glory,” said current seventh-grade running back Sam Westwood. “Sadly we didn’t win a single game but the teachings and life lessons that Coach Mullnix [gave] us [were] very important.” Yet this year there are new coaches, new players, and new talent. Midle school math teacher and basketball coach Mr. Digiovanni has now added football to his repertoire. “The boys have been working very hard,” said DiGiovanni. “They have done a great job encouraging each other and have embraced the ideals of being a team.  All of the coaches and players have high hopes for a wonderful season.” Mr. Marshall Mullnix , who has coached sixth grade many times in the past, joins DiGiovanni as well as Mr. Pervis Patrick, a newcomer to The Benjamin football scene.

Whatever may happen, both teams are optimistic this year and are excited to put on their pads and take to the field again.