Overcoming an experienced squad from Madison Ridgeland Academy, Columbia Academy’s peewee football team brought home a championship.
The third and fourth graders defeated MRA 6-0 on Oct. 17 at Parklane Academy in McComb. It was vindication after the Cougars had lost 13-8 to the Patriots during the regular season.
Coach David Lowery said it’s the first South Mississippi Independent Elementary Football League championship in school history.
“The motto of this year really was ‘hard work pays off.’ This group of kids had a very successful year going against larger schools and teams,” he said.
To set up the final game’s lone score, halfback Daniel Lowery, behind a strong push from the offensive line, took a sweep about 30 yards to the MRA 1-yard line. Fullback Trent Buckley then dove across the goal line for six points. Coach Lowery said other standouts included quarterback Reed Duncan and offensive guard Blake McDonald.
The defense also shone out in holding MRA, which had a skilled quarterback, completely in check. “I don’t think they converted a first down at all,” Lowery said.
Their opponents throughout the season only played fourth graders, but the Cougars had many third graders fill in to make key plays, Lowery said. He said the team’s mental and physical conditioning kept the players winning.
“They just had a bond that really kept them going. They fed off of each other and just pumped each other up,” he said.
Lowery said the team could not have done what they did without the help of assistant coaches Stacy Buckley, Jeremy Bullock and Joe Woods. “They provided excellent experience and knowledge of the game,” he said.
Lowery planned to present the championship trophy to Headmaster Angie Burkett at Friday night’s high school game.
Pictured Above: The Columbia Academy peewee football team celebrates its recent South Mississippi Independent Elementary Football League championship. Front row, from left, are Kole Louge, Cole Varnado, Ryder Earls, Cooper Powell, Justin Woods, Easton McCain, Daniel Lowery, Carter Pennington, Ethan Stringer and Carter Fortenberry; middle row, Owen Singletary, Carson Daniels, Hunter Fite, Logan Buckley, Blake McDonald, Maddox McDaniel, Trent Buckley, Fletcher Rawls, Tate English, Eli Bullock, Reed Duncan, Zac McCain, Carson Stuart and Carter McMichael; back row, assistant coaches Stacy Buckley and Jeremy Bullock, head coach David Lowery and assistant coach Joe Woods. | Photo by Holli Powell