by MIKE LESKO | REPORTER
Aurora — For the first time in Aurora varsity football coach Bob Mihalik’s 12 years of service, Harmon School’s seventh- and eighth-grade teams both ended the season undefeated at 7-0.
For the eighth-graders, it was the second consecutive undefeated campaign.
The eighth-grade team, coached by Ken Cardaman (offensive coordinator) and Dave Keckan (defensive coordinator), finished the season Oct. 10 with a 54-0 road victory over Orange.
The eighth-graders averaged 40 points a game on offense and surrendered only seven points a game on defense.
Seventh-grade coach Tim Deering said the eighth-graders’ game of the year was against Wickliffe. The eighth-graders trailed, 20-6, at half-time, but rallied for a 42-20 triumph, scoring 36 unanswered points in the second half.
The seventh-grade squad, coached by Deering (offensive coordinator) and Adam Hoover (defensive coordinator), ended the campaign Oct. 9 with a 34-12 triumph over visiting Orange.
The seventh-graders averaged 27 points a game on offense and gave up 10 points a game on defense.
Deering said the seventh-graders’ game of the year was a 24-20 victory over Kenston.
“It was the closest scoring game [of the season], and it matched the two best teams in the Chagrin Valley Conference against each other,” Deering said. “Kenston always has played solid football at the middle school level.”
DEERING SAID the coaches do not single out individual players.
“The teams were successful because we have dedicated parents practicing the fundamentals [with their children] at an early age in youth football,” Deering said. “By the time seventh- and eighth-graders start football at Harmon, we’re working with a solid foundation.
“I think we practice more than most other teams at our age level with four nights of two-hour practices and a game night,” Deering said. “We run two weeks of three-hour practices at our middle school two-a-days.
“Our players work hard in the classroom and are extremely smart,” he added. “When you work with smart players, it is easy to install offensive and defensive formations and schemes.”
Deering said the undefeated seasons are also “a great accomplishment as all players play at least one quarter on each side of the ball.
“With 49 players on the seventh-grade team and 34 players on the eighth-grade squad, it is quite a task managing players,” he said.
Deering said since every player is competing in every game, “That means all our players need to know where they are going and what they need to accomplish.”
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