Middle school football team undefeated — again

The Chattanooga Catholic football team finished the 2016 season with a perfect record, going 11-0.

It was Catholic’s second consecutive undefeated campaign. Chattanooga Catholic, a cooperative middle school football program of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Jude school students, competes in the Independent School Conference. Before 2015, it had been a half-century since the Rams had completed an undefeated season. Catholic has now reeled off 28 straight victories.

Catholic boasted an “all-conference” caliber line that was big, athletic, and strong.

“We were aware heading into the season that we had the opportunity to showcase an outstanding line — and they didn’t disappoint,” said Catholic coach Billy Dearing. “Like any level of football, the game is usually won or lost on the line of scrimmage. We are accustomed to having tougher, more fundamentally sound players than our opponents — but having one of the larger teams was new to us,” the coach added.

The line (Maverick Tucker, Landen Cooling, Ben Bambrey, Andy McGann, Boston Eberly, Tucker Berry, and River Stump) controlled each game. The Rams trailed only once all season, and the defense (led by Bennett Brinson) gave up less than a touchdown per game.

Offensive coach Bucky Dearing was quick to praise the backs: “the play of C.J. Petrin, Eric Lindsey, and Charlie Menham helped put us in a position to win each game. And we are beyond excited that two of the best runners in the conference will be returning next season (Christian Robinson and all-conference player Alex Osborne, who led the team in rushing yards and scoring).”

Chattanooga Catholic defeated every member in its conference and was also crowned “Choo-Choo” Bowl champions. The graduating eighth-grade players compiled a 33-1 record during their middle school years.

“We honestly do not measure success by wins and losses. Rather, success for us is whether or not the players give maximum effort and if it is a positive experience,” Coach Dearing said, “and it has been quite a successful run with this group.”

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