“Never, never, never, never quit.” That was Sandhills Classical Christian School Head Football Coach Dell Cook’s message to his junior varsity team after their loss at home Thursday 54-20 to St. David’s of Raleigh. Only in their first year, the Lions played with enthusiasm and determination — and yes, never quit.
The atmosphere was exciting as 500 people, most all with young children, lined one entire sideline watching and cheering for the home team from lawn chairs and blankets. Cheerleaders encouraged their team, kids played together as parents appalled at every chance. Food trucks added to the family festival-like atmosphere.
Scoring first was St. David’s on the second play of the game. They would score again to make it 16-0 before SCCS team co-captain Nate Blockburger made it 16-6. Blockburger, a ninth-grader, would make another touchdown during the game. Also scoring late in the game was Wyatt Monroe on a long run into the end zone breaking tackles and outrunning his opponents.
Blockburger and Monroe, both voted co-captains by their teammates, are the leaders of the team and the only ninth-graders on the 18-man squad. Most of their teammates are eighth-graders. That can only be a good thing as the team looks to next year.
The game was played under perfect weather conditions, late in the afternoon as the sun was setting in a clear sky. Looking at the condition of the football field, one could never have imagined how much rain had fallen in the previous days.
The team played eight-man football, rather than the traditional 11-man, as is common for smaller schools like SCCS. The field is the traditional 100 yards long but more narrow by 13 yards. All the rules are the same.
Sandhills Classical Christian School is a private school that offers education for grades preschool-12. Their main campus is located at 1487 Rays Bridge Road in Whispering Pines. Their Head of Schools, Dell Cook, also serves as the head football coach.
Feature photo: Wyatt Monroe, SCCS team co-captain, runs the ball into the end zone late in the game, breaking tackles and outrunning his opponents.
~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.