The McPherson Middle School fall sports teams kicked off their 2018 seasons on Thursday as the 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams took on Salina Lakewood, while the 7th and 8th grade football teams tackled Maize South.

7th Grade Football Goes 1-1:

It was a bit of a rough start for the McPherson Middle School 7th grade football ‘A’ team on Thursday as they were shutout 20-0 by Maize South.

According to Head Coach Brandt Busse, “Despite the rough start, I’m proud of our guys for continuing to play hard throughout the entire game. They showed a lot of toughness.”

“On offense we struggled to move the ball though we did split it between 50 yards rushing and another 60 yards through the air,” added Coach Busse. “Defensively we actually did a great job, just fell asleep on a couple of plays that burned us.”

The 7th grade ‘B’ team took a 12-0 victory over Maize South, with Owen Pyle scoring the two touchdowns on 60- and 40-yard scampers, as the Junior Pups went over 100 yards rushing.

“Again, this is a great group of kids to coach,” concluded Coach Busse. “We were extremely proud of them for the tenacity on the defensive side of the ball as they had to learn a lot in a short amount of time.”

Next up for the 7th grade football teams will be on Thursday, Sept. 6 when they play host to Newton.

8th grade football gets opening day victory:

It was a victorious opening game for the McPherson Middle School 8th Grade football team as they scored a 14-0 shutout win over Maize South on Thursday.

“The first game is almost always nerve racking for everyone,” noted Head Coach TJ Jackson. “Our coaches agreed this might be the most mentally prepared team we have coached, and the kids went in and played great from the beginning of the game.”

Hadley Backhus connected on a 10-yard scoring pass to Sam Becker to get the first touchdown before Tucker Pelner rambled in from 20 yards to finish out the scoring for the Junior Pups. Hunter Alvord converted a two-point conversion after the second score.

Pelner finished the game with 93 yards on the ground from 10 runs, while Jaytin Gumm added 71 yards on 11 carries. On defense, Pelner and Alvord each had seven tackles, while Pelner also had an interception.

Coach Jackson concluded his coach reflections by saying, “We are most proud of the fact that we are able to move guys around to multiple positions, rest guys and share responsibilities in order to keep us from overloading anyone since we have very low numbers.”

Next up for the 8th graders will be Thursday, Sept. 6 when they travel to Newton.

7th & 8th grade volleyball go unbeaten in season openers:

Both the 7th and 8th grade McPherson Middle School volleyball teams swept matches with Salina Lakewood on Thursday.

For the 8th grade Lady Pups, the ‘A’ team took two hard fought sets, 25-23, 25-21, while the ‘B’ team won both of their matches with Salina Lakewood 25-15, 25-19.

According to 8th Grade ‘A’ team Head Coach Jacque Colgrove, “After a slow start of being down 8-1 in the first set, the girls finally relaxed and communicated which led to playing better as a team. Strong serving and passing by Kelcy Bergstrom and Kelcie Kynaston helped shift the momentum in our favor. Both sets were close and competitive, an exciting start to the season.”

8th grade ‘B’ coach Stevie Stockham noted, “The girls meshed really well for it being their first match and they showed great hustle.”

In the 7th grade ‘A’ team game, the Junior Lady Pups held off Salina Lakewood in straight sets 25-18, 25-14.

‘A’ team Head Coach Shelley Bohme was pleased, saying, “I was so impressed with how well the girls played for their first match. Overall, they served the ball well and they did a great job of helping each other while making some amazing hustle plays. I was please with how often we set the ball up and how well we covered. Everyone contributed, and they worked well together as a team.”

The final sets of the day for the 7th grade ‘B’ team went much the same as they rolled past Salina Lakewood 25-19, 25-12.

“I’m so proud of how well the girls played today,” noted ‘B’ team Head Coach Abby Bradstreet. “We hustled, communicated well, and made some great plays throughout both sets. All the girls served well. I can’t wait to see how they do throughout the rest of the season.”

Next up for the Junior Lady Pups volleyball teams will come on Thursday, Sept. 6 when the 8th grade teams will travel to Salina for a rematch with Salina Lakewood, while the 7th grade teams will play host to a triangular with Salina Lakewood and Abilene.

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