When thinking about things that are powerful, Bigfoot comes to mind.
I’m not talking about the hairy, fictitious creature that supposedly roams the wilderness. I’m talking about the monster truck Bigfoot that can flatten cars.
Bigfoot is one vehicle I would avoid in a demolition derby because it would roll right over my car and crush me in the process. I think of Bigfoot when I think of our current batch of eighth-grade athletes. In four sport seasons this year – football, basketball, soccer and baseball – our boys have crushed the competition.
The finishing touches came Monday night when the WCMS Pioneer baseball team beat Tullahoma to win the CTC Tournament. This comes after the Pioneers won the regular-season title and finished the year losing just one game.
Nine days earlier, the WCMS boys soccer team won its tournament title, the fifth straight crown for the Pioneers. Like the baseball team, the soccer team only lost one game all season.
In basketball, the WCMS eighth-grade boys pushed aside the competition like a snowplow. The Pioneers didn’t lose a game the entire regular season, although they did stumble and fail to win the tournament.
In football, WCMS bulled its way to a perfect 8-0 season. That included a 56-6 runaway victory against White County, one of several blowouts.
Combining the records from all four of these boys teams it’s a 50-3 mark, an amazing winning percentage of 94 percent.
This is truly a remarkable accomplishment. WCMS went through an entire school year in its four biggest male sports and only lost three games – the whole year! This calls for some sort of monument, and a tall one at that.
Logic would tell us our high school teams should be in great shape once these eighth-graders become juniors and seniors, although history tells us otherwise. Despite first-class programs in middle school, our athletics seem to fade just a touch in high school.
I think the reason for this is the culture. The students I’ve talked to over the years say playing sports is the thing to do when you’re in seventh or eighth grade. It’s cool. It’s hip. It’s rad.
But playing sports isn’t so illustrious in high school. Case in point is last year’s WCHS boys freshman basketball team, a team which won the freshman district tournament.
That team, composed of 12 boys, had a very successful year and looked poised to flood the varsity team with young talent. The problem is just one year later only two of those 12 boys are still playing WCHS basketball.
Perhaps this current batch of eighth-graders can buck this trend and their titles in middle school can translate to high school championships.