As of Thursday, November 6, 2014
The Dalles Middle School football team ended the 2014 season with a large group of 29 seventh graders that are primed to pave the way for additional success down the line.
This group, coached by Paul Beasley, Joe Abbas and Jermaine Hisatake, played a 16-game schedule with practices five days a week and won enough games to punch a ticket to the Portland Football and Cheer League Seventh Grade Championships Saturday versus Reynolds at Marshall High School in Portland.
In their tilt against the Raiders, TDMS battled toe-to-toe for four quarters and ended up taking a close, 25-18 loss.
The Dalles had scoring contributions on a pass from Gabe Helseth to Caden Mathisen for a pair of passing touchdowns.
Added to that, the Wildcats used a bit of trickery to score another touchdown, as Abbas, the offensive coordinator, called for a halfback pass.
On the play, Mathisen hauled in a pitch and found a wide open Ben Nelson for a 50-yard score.
As time was running down in the fourth quarter, the Reynolds spread option proved to be too much, as they scored a late touchdown with three minutes left in regulation.
“Reynolds was very well-coached and athletic, but we held our own and ended our 16-game season on a promising performance with great expectations for next season,” said TDMS head coach Paul Beasley.
Hisatake, the defensive coordinator, had solid efforts from several players including Jonathan Gonzales, Dalles Seufalemua, Opath Silopath, Steven Preston and Noah Halloran.
At the start of the season, Beasley planned on instituting a mandatory study hall before each practice to make sure grades are maintained for eligibility purposes.
Coaches can hone in on education, and win half of the battle.
As a former high school and current middle school head coach, he has seen too many student athletes fall by the wayside due to grades and its residual effects up and down in many programs.
“We are talking about making them better young men for all of the right reasons,” Beasley said. “We are more than just wins and losses. Our focus is on getting the program going and emphasizing moral character.”
Beasley complimented everyone involved with the program including the players, coaches, parents and the TDMS family.
This core group is now just two years away from making the jump to high school football for games on Friday nights for Riverhawk head coach Steve Sugg.
“We are on the way to achieving the goals we set out as a program this year of academic performance, teaching fundamental football and retaining our players for next year and on to Coach Sugg’s program at TDHS,” Beasley added.