Thursday, October 31, 2013
For Paul Knox Middle School, Wednesday’s game was about more than success on the football field. It was a reward for doing things the right way.
“For this team, our goals weren’t wins,” Sheldon Higgenbottom, head coach of Paul Knox, said. “It was about making better football players and young men.”
The Patriots (4-3) finished their season with a 58-32 thumping of Ridge Spring-Monetta. The Patriots never trailed in the game, although they were short-handed.
“We had four guys who I didn’t let dress for this game and half of them were starters,” Higgenbottom said. “We’ve dealt with this before, but we adopted the Ray Tanner saying of ‘Win anyway’ and it’s really worked for us. It has become a rallying cry for this team.”
While Paul Knox was short-handed in the game, they weren’t without DeJuan Bell, who rushed for 5 touchdowns against RS-M.
“His momma told him (Bell) after the game that he could’ve run home from Ridge Spring with the way he ran the ball,” Higgenbottom said. “He really played well for us and we played well as a team.”
Higgenbottom said this season was the first to end with a winning record “in a long time.”
“We accomplished something that hasn’t been done in a while,” he said. “I told our eighth graders that next year, when they’re wearing North Augusta colors, they’ll come back and stand on the sidelines supporting us and know they helped start this. The kids were really proud to finish with a winning record, they were chanting and singing about it on the way back from the game.”
Those eighth graders got a small taste of what they will be seeing next year during the fourth quarter against RS-M.
“In the last quarter, we played an all-seventh grande offense,” Higgenbottom said. “They moved the ball well, they had about 80 yards and a touchdown.”
Higgenbottom was pleased with the effort of his seventh graders, and is hopeful about what they can accomplish next season.
“I think this group has great potential,” he said. “I expect them to be even better than the team this year. We’re going to return a good offensive line and a pretty good quarterback, as well.”
Along with the returning players for next season, Higgenbottom hopes to attract some new players and support.
“Hopefully having a winning record will help attract some good athletes to our team,” he said. “I can tell that our school is excited about football, my class is definitely excited today about how we performed.”