8th Grade Maroon Colts win season opener 14-0; Gold team gains valuable experience

Devine Middle School opened its 2021 season with ball games against visiting Navarro last Thursday at Warhorse Stadium. The 8th grade Maroon Colts won in a shutout 14-0 while the Gold Colts scrimmaged the Panthers.
The Gold Colts thought they had started their season with an 81-yard Joe Guerrero returned kickoff for a touchdown but it was flagged back by the officiating crew.
After what wound up being a scoreless first quarter, Colt quarterback Karter Brown hit intended receiver Mario Vicente on a 46-yard touchdown pass completion in the second quarter. Christian Monreal added the two-point run to put Devine ahead 8-0.
Brown connected with Mason Beaver in the third quarter on a 19-yard strike to put the Colts up 14-0, which wound up being the only scores needed to secure their first victory of the season.
Coach Lon Cozby stated, “It’s always tough to know how the kids are going to come out in the first game of the season, and especially when your opponent is a program of Navarro’s caliber.”
Navarro’s varsity is a traditional state playoff powerhouse. It is easy to see why Cozby was pleased with how his team competed.
“I was impressed how focused and intense we played,” Cozby continued. “Our offensive line looks like they will be beasts this year. Our starting front-five are big and strong. Nathaniel Martinez, Christian San Miguel, Riley Gutierrez, Trystan Lafond and Jackson Hagdorn are one of the biggest groups we have had in years. They made it easy for Joe and Mario to find holes.”
Cozby went on to say Ray’sean Beaver added in a nice run as well and fullbacks Ty Sadler, Christian Monreal and Lucas Rodriguez blocking abilities added many yards to the running game.
In Devine’s new offensive scheme, the tight ends are counted on for key blocks as well if the run game plans to flourish.
“Our blocking tight ends Derek Traylor and Tyler Hinnant did great all night and will be a threat in the passing game soon,” said Cozby about his two starting ends.
It takes a great leader and an intelligent football player to handle a Devine football huddle, and it looks like Cozby has the right man under center for the Maroon Colts.
“Karter Brown was a leader at the quarterback position. He took command of the huddle and executed the offense well. He added a couple of runs but threw the ball great going 3 for 4 with two touchdowns,” he said in evaluation of his starting quarterback.
In addition to the offensive players mentioned above, Cozby also stated that Mason Beaver and Briar Parson were spot on at the wide receiver position.
Defensively, the shutout speaks volumes about the type of effort the Maroon Colts put forth on that side of the ball.
“Our defense really had to be coachable and disciplined this week or Navarro could have fooled us a few times with some of the misdirection plays they incorporate into their offense,” Cozby said. “Navarro is a great program from top to bottom so for us to pitch a shutout speaks volumes for our guys. More than a few of our starters on offense also play defense but one kid that really helped out on the D-side was Cole Davis who is a move in from Freer. Ty Sadler sustained a wrist injury in the first quarter and Cole did a great job containing their run as he had to move over from middle backer to outside backer.”
Middle school games aren’t very long anyways, but playing against a run-dominated offense like Navarro keeps the pace of the game extremely fast for that age level.
“Unfortunately, we had some guys that didn’t get their chance to contribute but they will in the coming games. With Navarro running the ball on almost every down, the clock never stops. That was one of the quickest games we have played,” Cozby said about the inability to get every player into the game.
Gold Colts
The 8th grade Gold Colts scrimmaged the Panthers instead of playing a typical formatted ballgame, as many of these players continue to learn the game and some a new position.
“Karson Ray played his first game at quarterback and I thought played and passed the ball really well,” said Cozby beginning his Gold recap. “Karson had a nice pass to Deryck Frazier that was broken up but on target. Gavin Williamson, Hayden Stotts, and Jaython Rosales all had good runs in the scrimmage and Matt Pequeno had a good night at center.”
Similarly to the Maroon squad, several Gold team members also stuck out in Cozby’s mind.
“Raul Reyes had some big hits defensively and both Jonathan Moralez and Jeremy Steinbrunner did great on the edge forcing things back inside. They were also involved in making several tackles.”
Cozby finished his post-game analysis saying, “We saw some nice bright spots to build on for next week against Pleasanton. We are right where we want to be this early in the season and we will continue to build on this success. We are looking forward to opening the playbook a little and getting even more kids involved next week.”
Team members
Ray’sean Beaver, Ryan Weinkam, Deryck Frazier, Mason Beaver, Issac Espinoza, Gavin Williamson, Briar Parson, Cole Davis, Ty Sadler, Bo Wheeler, Karter Brown, Mario Vicente, Eddie Martinez, Noah Mata, Jaython Rosales, Hayden Stotts, Jonathan Moralez, Joe Guerrero, Christian Monreal, Cash Menchaca, Diego Valdez, Lucas Rodriguez, Brady Loeffler, Karson Ray, Matthew Pequeno, Riley Gutierrez, Jordan Reyna, Jesus Torres, Raul Reyes, Jeremiah Cardenas, Joselyn Jimenez, Gilbert Soto, T.J. Buvinghausen, Chris Sanchez Jr., Samuel Morales, Angel Turcios, Trystan LaFond, Christian San Miguel, Bob Hicks-Hernandez, Nathaniel Martinez, Adrian Rodriguez, Joel Rios, Jackson Hagdorn, Derek Traylor, Tyler Hinnant, Jeremy Steinbrunner.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer