Rhea Middle Eagles cap perfect season with monster win against Harriman Blue Devils
“As a whole, I couldn’t be any prouder than these kids. To be honest, a bunch like this doesn’t come around very often,” said Jeremy Fitzgerald after his Rhea Middle Eagles capped a perfect 8-0 season with a 62-28 win over visiting Harriman Blue Devils. (Watch game highlights below.)
Fitzgerald, who challenged his team to “come out and take care of business early”, witnessed his Eagles build a 40-6 lead in the second quarter. The early lead allowed younger players to get extra snaps before their perfect season was in the books.
Fitzgerald admits he had his doubts before the season began. And rightfully so. His team was facing the toughest schedule in Rhea Middle history. In addition to mainstay rivals such as Spring City and Cleveland, the Eagles faced state powerhouses Maryville and Baylor.
I couldn't be any prouder than these kids. To be honest, a bunch like this doesn't come around very often.Jeremy Fitzgerald - Rhea Middle Eagles
Each week they rose to the challenge with hard fought wins including a 6-0 victory over Maryville, a 22-14 victory over Baylor (in the final seconds), a 36-18 win over Cleveland, and an 18-0 win over cross-county rival Spring City.
“This is a special bunch. I’d take them anywhere and compete with them.” With a team boasting of 30 eighth graders, Fitzgerald says he, “probably cried more on ‘Eighth-Grade Night’ than the parents did.”
Acknowledging football is a game of lessons, Fitzgerald says, “Hopefully we’ve taught them something on the football field that they can take with them in life.”