Martin Middle celebrates first undefeated seasonPublished 8:44pm Thursday, October 17, 2013
With a 30-0 victory over Jemison complete, the Martin Middle School Bulldogs celebrated by dunking Gatorade and water on head coach Jeremy White and defensive coordinator Clayton Cogle.
Not only did the victory clinch the first undefeated season in Martin Middle history, but it also clinched a rare, truly perfect season in which the Bulldogs held their opponents off the scoreboard the entire year.
In five games this season, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents 102-0.
Going undefeated isn’t common, although it is one accomplished by great football teams every season. A team not allowing a point all season is a rarer accomplishment, something Bulldogs head coach Jeremy White understands.
“That was a bigger deal than going undefeated,” White said about his team not giving up a single point all season.
White said he believes his team understands not only what they accomplished, but the magnitude of their accomplishments.
“They were excited. They had a great time after the game,” he said. ”They knew what they had done and I think they understood it. They were proud.”
Even when teams were having success and moving the ball against the Bulldogs defense, White said his team kept its ground and refused to give in.
“Nothing fazed them,” White said. “Teams would gain yards on them but when it came down to it, they would keep them out of the end zone every time. It was something to watch.”
The defense was led by Cogle, who White said deserves all the credit in the world for how the defense came together.
“He did a great job with the defense and that’s the reason we didn’t give up a point,” White said.
Many football teams — at all levels —would start thinking about what they were about to accomplish and slip up, or let the pressure get to them as they tried to keep their unblemished scoring streak going, but not this group, White said.
“They really do stay relaxed,” White said. “It’s shocking to be honest with you.”
Although the defense shined, the Bulldogs outclassed opponents with their performances on both sides of the ball.
White, who was in his first year as head coach, said he knew early on that his team would be outsized in every game.
“Going into it, we were outsized every game we went to. Going into the season I knew that,” White said. “I knew we were pretty quick after a couple of weeks of practice but everybody was bigger than we were, but they didn’t have the heart these guys have.”
Speed was one of the Bulldogs biggest advantages and they used it to move the ball against bigger opponents.
Although the first two wins of the year were dominating shutouts, White said he didn’t know how good his team could be until they shotout Clanton.
“We had never beat Clanton before,” White said. “After we beat Clanton and didn’t give up a point in that game I knew we had a special team.”
Several Bulldogs players took part in the Integrity Worldwide 5K run Saturday, along with head coach Clayton Cogle. White said their participation shows their commitment to staying in shape.
“We would tell them they need to run on the weekends to stay in shape and they would go out and do that on the weekends,” White said. “We had seven or eight of them run the 5K.”
White said this year’s team was a big eighth grade group and that next season he will be left with only a handful of returning starters.
Most of this year’s team will move up to the high school level next season. White is interested in seeing how this group does when it reaches high school, especially if the entire team ends up staying together. If they do, it looks like the future could be bright at Dallas County High School.
“If they all go to Dallas County and they stay together as a team, they can be real good,” White said.
Meanwhile, after a first year as coach that ended without the other team scoring a single point, White joked he may have to temper expectations a little going into his second year.
“I probably set the bar a little too high,” he joked.