Natchez Middle School team goes 8-1, wins championship

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Natchez Middle School football coach Josh West used one word to describe his football team’s 2016 season: special.

The Bulldogs went 8-1, capping the campaign off with a resounding 28-16 win over rival Jefferson County on Oct. 20 to win the Southwestern Junior High Athletics Conference Championship.

“It meant a lot because we lost the championship to them by six points last year,” West said. “It made us hungry this summer, and we worked hard for it.”

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West said the season was not only special for what the team accomplished, but also how the championship was won.

“We have 50 players on the team, and I used a majority of the roster,” West said.

On the strength of their defense, the Bulldogs outscored opponents 218-40. The first-team defense only gave up six points the entire year, West said.

Additionally, the Bulldogs were superb on special teams, as they returned five kicks back for scores, and place-kicker Juan Boteo was perfect on his extra-point attempts.

“We wanted to be the best middle school team ever,” West said. “I don’t believe a Natchez middle school team was ever that dominant, or at least in the district.”

Eighth-grade linebacker Jacorian Sewell, who rebounded from a broken leg the previous season, was the catalyst of the Bulldog defense that registered over 20 takeaways.

“He has outstanding instincts,” West said. “He’s a leader, but he doesn’t do it by talking, he does it through his actions. I’m proud of him.”

West said his squad struggled at times offensively, but it wasn’t because of a lack of weapons.

“We were a running team,” West said. “We could always run the ball, and we tried to use our speed to our advantage.”

At the quarterback post, the Bulldogs utilize a three-headed attack, led by Jordan Caston.

“That boy is elite,” West said. “He has the heart of a lion.”

When Caston wasn’t providing big plays, West leaned on do-it-all athlete Trevon Henry.

“He’s going to be the future,” West said. “When you get the ball in his hands, he’s special.”