With a productive 2011 campaign, the Colts eighth-grade squad could finish with not only the best three-year record in recent memory but one of the best of all time. Since starting the sixth grade season in 2009, these Colts have racked up 10 wins against five defeats versus like competition.
The schedule for this year though does them no favors as both the seventh- and eighth-grade squads will open the season with not only two road games, but road games against their biggest rivals — Cleveland’s Blue Raiders and Lake Forest’s Bruins.
Ronnie Weir will once again take control of the coaching reins of an eighth-grade squad boasting both a large and explosive offensive and defensive line. Assistant coaches will be Harry Dillon and Kevin Queen. The Colts have a tandem of running backs and fullbacks with one, Avery “A-Train” Jones, who has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for his middle school career and is looking to add big numbers to his total this season.
Ocoee will primarily run out of the I-formation with multiple split option offensive sets. Defensively the Colts are led by leading tackler and one of their hardest hitters, Gabe Flowers. While maintaining a core group of players for all three seasons, Ocoee is looking to capitalize this season with experience, hard work and dedication.
The seventh-grade Colts will look to build upon their spectacular entry into middle school football last season and ride the wave of winning as well. Ocoee seventh-graders will be led by Coach Ricky Henry and assisted by Josh Morris and John McCracken. The sixth-grade “freshmen” will have big shoes to fill after two winning seasons, and will be led by head coach Eric Swafford, assisted by Mark Swanson and Cory Boatman.
Several Ocoee seventh- and eighth-graders started hitting the weight room in early spring and went through summer conditioning drills, with many making every single lift and run — all voluntarily.
This season the OMS seventh- and eighth-grade Colts will play back-to-back games. The seventh-grade games start at 5 p.m. and eighth-grade games are at 7. The season starts Aug. 18 with both squads traveling to Cleveland Middle School and following that up with a trip Aug. 25 to Lake Forest.
The Colts will host Boyd Buchanan on Sept. 1 at Walker Valley before traveling to Rhea County Middle School on Sept. 8.
A three game home stand at Walker Valley starts Sept. 15 against the Big Red of Baylor; next is a Sept. 22 matchup against county rival Lake Forest Middle and then the home season wraps up Sept. 29 against crosstown rival Cleveland.
Both teams will finish their season in Georgia on Oct. 11 as they take on Dalton Middle School.
In preparation for the season opener, Ocoee will host a Middle School Jamboree Aug. 13 at Walker Valley with Cleveland’s seventh-grade squad, all three Ocoee teams, Dalton, Boyd Buchanan and others. Play will start at 9 a.m. and will run late into the afternoon. Smoothie King will be on hand as well as a fully stocked concession stand. Everyone is invited out for some great football action.