Middlesboro 5th and 6th win conference championship

Published 4:09 pm Monday, September 30, 2019

Much like their 7th and 8th grade counterparts, the Middlesboro middle school 5th and 6th grade football team won their conference championship on Saturday against Pineville 14-12. After leading most of the game, Middlesboro fell behind late in the game, but was able to overcome a late push by the Mountain Lions and secure their conference championship.

“It was a great way to cap off the season,” said Middlesboro coach Diran Young. “I’m very proud of our guys and how well they played this year. It was a great season. We worked hard and it paid off for us in the end. We are just laying the groundwork for the future of football in the area.”

With an early game time, Young felt like his team answered the call right out of the gate. “I was a little worried about the early game time,” he said. “We got home late from the high school game on Friday night and had to be up at 7:30 the next morning. Most kids don’t get in the bed too early on Friday night. We came out and scored right away and I knew we were ready to go.”

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After leading most of the game before falling behind late, Young felt like his team showed a lot of resilience by fighting their way back into the lead and securing a victory in the conference championship.

“We just kept fighting,” said Young. “We never quit. That’s something I can say for this team — they don’t quit. That’s something you’re starting to see more of throughout the other teams from Middlesboro too. The future is starting to look really good around here in football and it begins here.”

Young felt like this experience was good for his team. “Playing at Union College was great for these guys,” he said. “Getting to play on turf and at the college really got these guys excited. I liked the energy they had throughout the game. This was a great experience for these guys and we are very proud of them.”

Much like the other coaches in Middlesboro, Young believes that the future of Middlesboro football is in a good position for success in the coming years.

“A lot of people are excited about football around here again,” he said. “Coach French is doing a great job with the high school, coach Lambert has done a great job with the 7th and 8th grade teams, and we feel like we are doing a pretty good job at teaching the guys how to play the game and play it well. A lot of folks have been excited about both of these middle school teams getting older and getting ready to go to high school. Well, it’s here now. These kids have worked very hard and I think we are going to see it paying off. They look up to all the older players around here and the older guys are setting a good example by working so hard. We are just going to keep working and teaching as much as we can. We’re coming — Middlesboro football is coming.”