By Travis Chapman
5th and 6th graders fall 12-0
Dodging deer on Country Club Cir. as the sun rose beyond the loblolly pines last Saturday morning brought on the final games to be played from the stellar seasons the Elementary Apaches’ football programs had in the 2023 campaign. All the wonderful volunteers gathered at Apache stadium to host the Championship Tournament. Our Apaches would need to win two games on that day to play for the title.
How bout we start with the 5th and 6th graders this go-round? They faced the toughest challenge with the seeded draw from the proverbial tournament hat. They had to face an extremely fast and extremely big FCCS Warrior team who made the early morning trek all the way from Winnsboro, La. Let me tell you though, the size and speed disparity had never stopped our Apache Tribe thus far as they won battle after battle this season and carried a 5-0 record into the match-up. However, the FCCS Warriors proved too much to handle for our hard fighting Apaches as they fell 12-0 to FCCS.
The Apaches started on offense and ran the ball with The Flash- Max Scroggs, but the FCCS defense and the big linebacker, #11 forced a punt from the Apaches. The Warrior offense came out power running behind their lead blocking full back and #11, doubling as the running back and inching the ball down the field. The Apaches made great tackles and open field tackles, but the Warriors gained 3 yards every play. Several plays into the Warriors’ possession, their QB dumped the ball off for a quick pass that resulted in a Warriors’ touchdown. The Apache defense thwarted the 2-point attempt to keep the Warrior lead at just 6-0 with 1:25 remaining in the first quarter.
The Apaches’ offense came out firing on all cylinders and moved the chains several times, but the Warriors’ defense stopped them JUST short of picking up a new set of downs on a 4th down deep in the Warriors’ territory midway through the 2nd quarter. The Apache defense came out with good field position to pin the Warriors back and force a punt. Baylor Culver showed his moxy, stepped in front of a pass from the Warrior QB and narrowly missed his second interception in as many games. That play put the Warriors’ offense well behind the sticks on 4th down. The Warriors elected to go for it, and the Apache defense had the play busted in the back field for another loss, but the shifty QB broke free from tackles and scampered to the bus ride for another touchdown with 32 seconds left in the half. The Warriors extended their lead 12-0 at the half.
The great coaching we’ve seen all season from the “Law Firm” of Smith, Rowton and Hanson had your Apache Tribe set on the war path as the defense exploded in the second half with an interception made by Mason Burns and the Apache defense pushed the Warriors behind the chains and forced punts.
The Apache offense moved the ball at will, running behind Ace Rolen and Max Scroggs. A perfect block setup by CT Harris paved the way for The Flash to gash the Warriors up the middle. The Apache coaches ran down the sideline signaling TOUCHDOWN, as Max Scroggs raced toward South Tanglewood Dr., but the last Warrior defender stuck his hand out as he laid on the ground, tripped Scroggs up and prevented the touchdown. Nonetheless, the Apaches gained 22 yards and a new set of downs. The Apaches’ offense had trouble as they moved toward the red zone ultimately giving the ball back to the Warriors. Baylor Culver, Ace Rolen, Rylan Rainey and several other Apaches made great tackles and played great on defense to hold the Warriors at check in the second half with just a hand full of first downs converted, but the early scores proved to be too much as our Apaches couldn’t punch it in for the score falling to the FCCS Warriors in the first round, 12-0.
The coaching staff is so proud of this group of young men. They practiced hard all year and made drastic improvements. They stared down giants in every single game they played yet whipped them all in the regular season and finished with an amazing achievement of 5-0. For half the team, it is bittersweet as they graduate up to the middle school ranks for the 2024 season where they are sure to excel, and the others will suit it up again for the elementary program and work hard to bring that trophy to the halls of Glenbrook in 2024. With tearful eyes your 5th and 6th grade Apaches called it up one last time for 2023….. FAMILY ON ME. FAMILY ON THREE. ONE. TWO. THREE. FAMILY!!!!
Apache 3rd and 4th graders take first game 21-0
Game one of the 3rd and 4th grade Apaches, proved to be one of the best executed games this team had put together all season as your Tribe speared the Tigers of Beekman Charter by a score of 21-0.
The Apache offense came out blowing and going. The Bass Brothers, Hank Rowton and Hagan Hay split the carries on the first drive and gashed the Tigers defense for a total of 48 yards. That running attack and the great blocking by Everett Tucker sprang the ferocious Rowton around the right side for the first Apache touchdown of the contest. With 2:50 left in the first, the Apaches led 6-0.
The Apache defense was relentless the entire contest with Miles McCullough, Grayson Avery and Captain Powell all making tackles for a loss that did not give up a single yard gained and forced a Tigers’ punt.
The next Apache offensive possession, QB Ryder Hollingsworth forevermore uncorked a deep 40-yard in the air pass that fell JUSSSTTTT out of the fingertips of WR, Marshall Duck that would’ve resulted in one of the most epic touchdown passes anyone could see from a group of 3rd and 4th graders. The incompletion didn’t get to the heads of the Apaches. They went on the move. Ryder Hollingsworth laid a crisp sealing block on a reverse that propelled Hagan Hay 25-yards for a first down. The very next play, Hollingsworth called his own number as he ran 25-yards, broke tackles and blazed a trail to the end zone for another Apache touchdown. The 2-point try was completed as the Apache lead grew 14-0 with 25 seconds left in the first half.
The Apache War Party raided and pilaged the field to start the second half as defensive tackle, Warren Johnson blew through the line and met the Tiger running back with a full head of steam. Johnson proceeded to rip the ball from the arms of the running back and took it to the house for a defensive score to extend the Apache lead 21-0. The Apache defense continued their dominance the remainder of the contest with El-Capitan Powell being the standout for most of the game. However, Jackson Shipp made his presence known as he plucked the ball from the sky for an interception that gave the Apache 2nd/3rd graders and second team offense some playing time with 1:45 left in the contest. The running attack gained a few yards for the Apaches, but really gave us a quick glimpse into 2024 as Waylon Chapman and Christian Lemoine set the edge for Skyler Malone as he ran like his brother was chasing him, and took the ball 27 yards down the field that closed the contest with the Apaches on top of the Tigers, 21-0.
This group advanced to the Semifinals of the tournament as they faced OCS Eagles at 7 p.m. The Apaches’ offense blew out on the field as they ran the jumbo set with Big G picking up the sticks on 2 consecutive carries, but the next play proved costly for the Apaches as the handoff was fumbled that resulted in a turnover giving the Eagles the short field.
The defense lead by “Big G”-Grayson Avery, and El-Capitan Powell did all they could against the Eagles making big tackles that setup a 3rd down and a long goal to go. The outstanding athleticism by the Eagles QB showed him breaking several tackles and he narrowly made it into the end zone for an Eagle touchdown. The Apaches trailed 6-0 with 6:03 left in the 2nd quarter. Possessions come at a premium in this league. With a continuous running clock against great competition, it is imperative to refrain from turning the ball over as you can run out of time, quickly.
As the second quarter advanced, the Apaches star 4th grader, Ryder Hollingsworth intercepted a pass from the Eagles QB and gave the Apaches life before the half. Tough consecutive runs by Hank Rowton setup a deep pass completed by Hollingsworth to Warren Johnson that looked like it was going to result in a game tying touchdown, but Johnson was pulled down from behind with the end zone in sight as the first half came to a close. The Apaches still trailed the Eagles, 6-0.
The second half opened with the Apache defense on the field as they fought for their life down the field, but the Eagles ultimately punched it in the endzone and ate up a ton of clock. The Apaches trialed 12-0. The Apache offense was not to be outdone as they blasted on the field blowing past the Eagles for gains of 20 yards on consecutive plays. Then Hollingsworth dropped another dime (as became routine for him throughout the season) over the shoulder of Warren Johnson 30 yards down the field for an Apache touchdown. Hollingsworth completed the 2-point try to Rowton to tighten the Eagles lead 12-8 with only 4 minutes left in the contest. The Apache defense came out firing with a possible comeback victory and back-to-back championship births in sight. Rocket Rivett made a huge tackle for a loss on the Eagles’ possession that forced a crucial 4th down. The Eagles’ QB proved to be too shifty as he broke tackles in the backfield once again and scurried to the endzone for the final score of the game with the Eagles narrowly defeating our Apache Tribe, 18-8 in an extremely hard-fought battle.
This group of 2/3/4th graders is special. They hold a special bond together. They fought hard together all season. They grew together all season. They even bled together this season. Mark my words, in just a few short years, these boys will be competing for a State Championship. Our coaches believe in these boys, and love these boys, dearly. They played with the biggest hearts and guts all season to a perfect 5-0 record and semi-finalist in the championship against extremely tough competition.
Coach Nick and Coach Jesse continued to reiterate the lessons taught on the field all year as the season came to an end for our elementary football program Saturday, “We will always do the right thing. We will hold our heads up in defeat, with class and respect on, and more importantly, off the field. We will use defeat to learn, grow, and get better at everything we do from the football field to the classroom. Remember, be better tomorrow than you were today.”
To the coaches, volunteers, parents, and to Glenbrook School: THANK YOU for everything you do to grow our kiddos through exceptional leadership and mentorship because after all, football is just a game. It will not last a lifetime for the vast majority, but the qualities instilled in our young men of loving the Lord, integrity, respect and work ethic will carry through generations and it’s all started right here at Glenbrook! The Apache coaching staff looks forward to another great season as we start the hard work, August 1, 2024, rallied on top of the hill. Signing off from the 2023 Elementary Apaches season, let’s get it up one last time!
FAMILY ON ME! FAMILY ON THREE! ONE. TWO. THREE. FAMILY!!!!