This past football season wrapped up with our SBS seventh and eighth grade football teams each finishing an incredible, undefeated season. Each team brought a sense of unity and camaraderie both on and off the field. That, and their coachability. Led by Coach Stephan Simmons (seventh) and Coach Todd Cordell (eighth), these teams overcame injuries, change of positions and other challenges to make it to the end, and they did it with humility and hunger for the game.
“As a former collegiate athlete, I know the importance of hard work, team work and knowledge of the game. I enjoy being the underdog in situations, because it gives you more chances to prove the critics wrong,” said seventh grade coach Stephan Simmons. “Hard work, team work and learning the game became our main focus. In order to learn the game, the boys would meet in my classroom for a video test on Fridays. This was the opportunity for them to learn the sport, their position and assignment for the play.”
The seventh grade team sustained injuries that might have set other teams back, but because of the players and their willingness to work, they continued fighting for their team.
“It was an incredible experience to see how the boys molded into a team and sort of established a brotherhood with one another. This was exemplified on and off the field,” said Simmons. “The boys played well and they played hard. They started to believe in themselves after the first game, seeing that hard work certainly pays off and truly seeing their potential, not only as athletes but as individuals.”
The team motto became, “What really matters is invisible to the eyes.” This allowed our players to look beyond the game and focus on what they wanted to leave on the field – a well-played game to bring glory to God.
The eighth grade team finished their season by meeting challenges together, and it paid off as they earned the title of HJPC Champions this season.
“This team was out there for each other and not themselves. They understood the meaning of team and really lived that out,” said eighth grade coach Todd Cordell. He continued, speaking about their team’s secret to success, “The main characteristics that helped this team finish the season undefeated were brotherhood and coachability. These boys were some of the most coachable young men I have had in middle school football and they would take criticism well and fix their problems the first time.”
“My biggest takeaway from this season is that in order to win, there has to be chemistry between the players. They have to be able to play for their team and to glorify God,” said Cordell. He explained, “They didn't have a ‘me’ attitude. They were always thinking, ‘how can I help this team win?’ and that was extremely rewarding.”