The seventh and eighth-grade flag football teams of St. Theresa Middle School recently played outstanding seasons and capped them off with championship wins.
The seventh-grade team went undefeated all season, and the eighth-grade team went undefeated in the regular season, with some inspiring happenings in the playoffs. When the eighth-grade squad entered the playoffs, they lost to St. Gregory Catholic School in the second round.
However, St. Theresa battled their way back through the double-elimination tournament loser’s bracket and made it to the championship, where they once again faced St. Gregory. This time, they took home the win with a score of 27-18.
The seventh-grade team took a direct route to the top, finishing their undefeated season with a 29-20 victory over St. Gregory.
Practice makes perfect, and St. Theresa’s flag football teams were no exception. An important part of their success, both teams’ practices helped their players constantly refine and improve their skills. Both teams focused on flag football basics, allowing the players to prepare for any scenario. Flag pulling technique is also an important part of the teams’ practices.
“We’re working on pass routes, pulling flags and defensive zone coverage, main coverage, and things like that,” seventh-grade Coach Jeremy Barnes said.
Assistant Coach David Swenson agreed, noting that flag pulling, route running, and timing of offensive plays are all critical parts of practice.
St. Theresa’s flag football teams have also seen success in previous seasons. Last year, Barnes’ team only lost one game.
“We were probably the favorites to win last year, but there was no sixth-grade tournament, so this was our first time playing in the competition. It was nice to win,” Barnes said. “I’ve been coaching most of these boys since they were five or six, so it was nice to represent the team and get a banner to hang in the gym that the kids can go back and look at.”
The eighth-grade team has a similar record.
“They won the league championship in seventh grade, sixth grade they didn’t play, and they went undefeated as fifth graders,” Swenson said.
Players from both teams were ecstatic about their victories.
“My favorite part was sharing the victory with my teammates and coaches,” seventh-grader Andrew Leuer said.
“The win felt great,” eighth-grader Michael Swenson said. “It was fun to win a championship with my best friends and my dad since we’ve played together for so many years.”