OC eighth graders go 10-0
The young Pioneers were dominant, with an average victory margin of 38-12
Oregon City Red, the Pioneers' eighth grade varsity football team, was the best eighth grade football team around in 2011.
The young Pioneers were a perfect 10-0 on the 2011 season, topping off the season with a 22-14 win over Sunset in the Tualatin Valley Youth Football League Percich Division championship game, after routing Clackamas 46-12 in the semifinals.
Oregon City eighth graders out-scored their opponents by an average score of 38-12. During the regular season, they handled Wilson 30-12, Sandy 31-6, Westview 38-13, Newberg 45-14, Tualatin 51-22, Clackamas 34-0, Sunset 54-32 and Lincoln 24-0.
'We had a reasonably good coaching staff, good parental support and an extraordinary amount of talent at the running back position,' said Oregon City head coach Kevin Maughan.
'When you have kids who are dominant players, one of two things can happen. It can ruin the team, or the team can rally around them and be successful. The latter is what happened. These kids made a commitment to do their best from day one. They meshed together, and the success followed.'
Running backs Trevon Bradford and Conner Mitchell provided much of the offensive punch for the standout Oregon City eighth grade team.
'They are not that big, but they're really, really fast,' said Maughan.
Maughan said that the Pioneers had a pretty decent passing game to go with the running game of Bradford and Mitchell.
'Brody Page, Trent Brown, David Benentendi, Breayman Oster and Samuel Maughan were all good receivers,' Kevin Maughan said. 'And Riley Rexine was a pretty decent quarterback.'
Maughan said the Pioneers also had a solid offensive line, headed by Ethan Durr at center, Nick Illa and Duncan Cranston at guard and Trevor Vandervort and Brett Kloepper at tackle.
Defensive standouts included Vandervort, Illa, Dylan Goodenow, Brandon Dillon and Ian Dunbar in the line; Maughan, Mitchell, Derick Elmore and Hunter Stroh at linebacker; and Bradford, Jordan Phillips, Nathan Pietrok and Tyler Dye in the defensive secondary.
Phillips also excelled as kicker for the young Pioneers.
'Jordan was a very good kicker,' said Maughan. 'He might have missed one [PAT kick] all year.'
Other players contributing to the success story included: Nathan Welch, Nick Dye, Andrew Bedell, Taylor Cloyd and Beni Vesa.
'We had good help from our substitutes throughout the season,' Maughan said. 'There was nobody that didn't contribute.'
Bryan Mitchell, Tommy Page and Keith Rable assisted Maughan in coaching the team.
Benjamin Richards was ball boy, and Jill Durr was parent volunteer.