Cheatham took an early lead over the Knights and never looked back (Photo: The Post)
The Sycamore Middle School Knights hosted Cheatham Middle on Thursday, September 1, 2022.
In the first quarter, the Knights seemed to be gearing up to be decent competition for their rival Bearcats, but a late hit and a 15-yard personal foul penalty added to their already heavily-loaded injury list. The hit ended Nolan McVay's night- and possibly his season- and allowed Cheatham to pull far out of Sycamore's reach.
"With injuries on both sides of the ball being key factors, we will be leaning hard on some of our underclassmen to carry us through the remainder of the season," Head Coach Brian Haywood says.
Sycamore's updated injury list includes: DT/OT Carter Davis, RB/MLB Treye Ferguson, C/DE Kiowa Guerin, DT/OT Ray Fuller, OG/DT Cayden Johnson, QB/WR/RB/MLB Nolan McVay. Returning from injuries this week were WR/CB Dagan Cardenas and SS/K/P Ali Rezai.
While Cheatham was able to celebrate an impressive shutout (40-0) victory over Sycamore, the Knights are not wavering from their goal of rebuilding.
Despite what the stats and record show, Haywood exudes refreshing optimism regarding the Pleasant View football program.
"We are a brand new team," he says. "We are building from the ground up- from the coaches all the way to the players. We are still well within the growing pains that come along with building a new team, and we are continuing to learn who we are together, and who has which skills to offer to our growth."
Losing the Pleasant View Jr Pro league a few years ago, Haywood believes, has had an impact on the challenges the team is currently facing. Some of his players have never played football before this season.
"We are working this program with one main goal in mind... BUILD," Haywood adds. "As a coach, losing games is never acceptable, but at this point, we are focused heavily on week-to week-progress, coaching improvements, and individual drills. Without looking at the scoreboard, we can already see these improvements."
While the rebuild will take time, Haywood and company aim to properly build a solid program that shines all the way through high school.
Eighth-grader Collin Kelly escorted by SMS cheerleaders during the halftime ceremony (Photo: The Post)
A halftime ceremony honoring eighth-grade Knights in their last season of middle school football lifted the mood of the evening.
The following student athletes were recognized in their final year of middle school football:
#1 Ali Rezai
#2 Dagan Cardenas
#3 Shane Collins
#5 Nolen McVay
#8 Cody Scalf
#12 Prestyn Leyba
#25 Collin Kelly
#26 Traye Ferguson
#34 Tristen Franklin
#35 Colton Long
#52 Kiowa Guerin
#62 Bryan Henderson
#85 James York
#99 Ray Fuller