San Saba County 6-man football fans enjoyed a treat last Thursday night in Richland Springs. The JH Coyotes played the Cherokee Indians JH, in a hard fought, fast moving game that featured big hits, and outstanding offense and defensive football play. The game foretold a future of great games, in the long-time cross-county rivalry, with young star players from each team flexing their muscles and showcasing their talents.
The Indians dug themselves into a hole on the first play of the game, opting for an aggressive on-side kick, which Brian Salinas returned for a score with only 6 seconds elapsed in the game. After holding the Indians on downs, Salinas runs for 24 yards and another score to make it 14-0. Hamilton, the Indians spread-back, scored on a 42 yard run to bring the score to 14-6. Brian Salinas scores again to run the score to 20-6. Cherokee made it a contest in the third quarter, with another long run from Hamilton, closing to a 20-14 score, but the Coyotes came back with 22 unanswered points to put the game away. The Indians, on this occasion, could not solve the puzzle created by the quick and powerful running of Brian Salinas. Brian bulled his way into the endzone 6 times and kicked three PAT’s to account for all of the Coyotes’ scoring. Quarterback Jordan Burkhart triggered the potent Coyote offense and distributed the football flawlessly, while providing outstanding lead blocking for the Coyote runners. Hutton Lusty kept the Indians from focusing on Salinas with several good runs from scrimmage, and was a force on defense recording many tackles, all for losses. Eighth graders Brian Salinas and Jacob Coleman led the team effort on defense, stopping the Indians on fourth down most of the night. Jonathan Salinas, Brice Davis, and Justin Patino are the big boys clogging the middle of the defensive line, stuffing the Indians on short yardage plays.
All future stars are not always recognizable by the number of touchdowns they score. At an age when teens and preteens grow 6 inches and four shoe sizes, seemingly overnight, centers can mature into quarterbacks, receivers evolve as lineman, and role players become featured backs. The huge difference in physical maturity in a 6th grader and an eighth grader is why most schools do not allow 6th graders to compete in Junior High. Some 8th graders can weigh almost 100 pounds more than some 6th graders. As a result, the playing time of the youngest, can be somewhat limited, sometimes their playing time is limited in an effort to prevent injuries. Other times, the Coaches may not want the kid to feel overmatched and become discouraged with football. Sometimes the kid just may not be ready to compete at this level. A true Championship team is made of many pieces, including role players. Their efforts are largely unnoticed from the stands, but their positive attitudes and efforts in practice, are an integral part of a winning football program. Michael McIlvain, Chandler Lusty, Brandon Tharp, Cody Pardy, Reid Blodgett, Jeremy Martin, Traven Day and Matthew Bivins, all made championship contributions to the winning effort and are part of the reason the JH Coyotes are now undefeated at 4-0. The Richland Springs JH Coyotes will travel to Lohn this Thursday evening to face the Eagles at 6:00 PM. Go Coyotes !!!