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Special to the Enquirer The Hartselle eighth-grade team celebrates an undefeated football season.

Hartselle eighth-grade football team completes undefeated season

The Hartselle Tigers eighth-grade football team completed an undefeated season Thursday night. 

The Tigers defeated the Liberty Lions 42-28 at Madison City Stadium in the North Alabama Classic.

The game was a matchup between the undefeated Lions, Madison County Champions, and Hartselle, the Tennessee Valley Champions.

Hartselle got a 65-yard touchdown run from Ri Fletcher on the first play from scrimmage to take an early 7-0 lead. Fletcher would score three more touchdowns to lead the Tigers offense.

Tigers quarterback Peyton Steele rushed for a touchdown and threw for a touchdown to running back Lincoln Bryant.

Defensive back J.T. Davis had two interceptions to lead the Hartselle defense. His second interception of the game came inside the final four minutes of the game and sealed the victory. 

The defense played a tremendous game, according to coach Keith Wright. Wright said defensive coach Schuyler Forman made some excellent adjustments throughout the game that put the Tiger defense in position to make plays and stop the high-powered Liberty offense.

“We have a special group of eighth-grade football players. It was a joy to be able to simply be a part of it,” said Wright. “The kids overcame every adversity that got in their way this year. We lost several key starters due to injury, especially on defense, and our players didn’t miss a beat. Every time we challenged them, they responded in a positive way.”

The coaching staff also included Jimmy George and John Hardin. The coaches were responsible for coaching both the seventh and eighth-grade teams this season. Wright said his coaches went above and beyond to make this year successful. 

“It was an exceptional season for the Tigers,” said Wright. “We play the best competition around on a week-to-week basis. For our team to accomplish what they have this season is a testament not only to the type of athletes they are but also to the type of character they have.”

Wright said he would like to thank all those who supported the team throughout the season – especially all the parents, cheerleaders and junior high principal Rocky Smith, who was on the sideline for every game.

“The future is bright for our football program with these young men involved,” said Wright.

Season Scores

  • Game 1: Hartselle defeated Austin 30-6.
  • Game 2: Hartselle defeated Muscle Shoals 20-12.
  • Game 3: Hartselle defeated Cullman 28-20.
  • Game 4: Hartselle defeated Decatur 28-0.
  • Game 5: Hartselle defeated Florence 48-14.
  • Game 6: Hartselle defeated Athens 26-14.

Game 7: Hartselle defeated Liberty 42-28.

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