Multiple Teams · End of an Era: 9th Grey Ends Historic Run, Vandalized by Vipers, 12-0

Dearest mother —

It is with a heavy heart we inform you that our season campaign has ended. Our unit fell to the Vipers on a cold, windy battlefield. While disappointed, we are extremely proud of all our accomplishments week after week, day after day, game after game.

The quill has never felt more heavy. We have made the decision to holster our Grey sidearm permanently. We shall battle no more. The decision is difficult, but, as the hogs taught us, we must be true to ourselves. We are coming home to care of our classwork and off-season training. We shall see you soon.

 — Unknown

On a cold, windy Thursday afternoon, the final chapter was closed on the last official football season of Belton High School’s 9th Grey Tigers as they were defeated by their longtime archenemy, the Vandegrift Vipers, 12-0.

With the elements playing a factor in coaching strategy, the game was turned into a defensive battle with both teams struggling to get anything going offensively. The Grey had several chances with the wind in the 1st quarter including 4 plays inside the 5 yd line, but somehow could not get all 11 players on the same page to find pay-dirt.

In the 2nd quarter, the Tiger offense struggled even more heading into the wind. A 1-yd punt would set the Vipers up to strike first on the scoreboard & a 6-0 lead to end the quarter.

After a few halftime adjustments, the Tigers got the ball to start the 2nd half & actually were moving the ball into the wind, but a costly turnover dashed any hopes of tying the game.

In the 4th quarter, the battle of field position continued between Vandegrift & the Grey. The Tiger offense continued to sputter, & the Vipers would capitalize late in the quarter with a TD pass on 4th down trying to run out the clock.

Defensively, the Grey Tigers played lights out the entire game; they held their own to keep the Tigers in the game. “The windy conditions didn’t affect my guys. We were able to pin our ears back & let the big dawg eat!” defensive carburetor Coach France stated. “We did everything we could defensively but score. They (Vandegrift) got us twice…once when their kid hit the R2 button & did a spin move & the other was when we missed a pick on a 4th down attempt. That’s it; other than that, nada!”

Malik Cherry & Adrian Cevallos, both had turnovers; Brandon Anderson, Sean Zacha, & William Armstrong played well on defense.

Offensively, the same could not be said for the Tiger offense.   Multiple interceptions & fumbles & a few penalties proved too costly to overcome. “We let the cold conditions bother us; our defense & Vandegrift played in the same stuff, & it didn’t seem to bother them,” an emotional offensive suggestor, Coach Knight said. “I’m proud of the effort of all of our kids; 41 of them finished the season, & we were able to play a full schedule & keep 3 teams. Our school & community should be proud of their efforts.” 

Offensively, Nathan Bryant, Victor Rodriguez, Justin Booth, Michael Meadows, Chase Thorp, Xavier Rios, & Victor Flores worked hard in the trenches, & Ian Gardner & Nicholas Sabedra ran for their lives.

If there was a silver-lining on the season, it was that the 9th Grey Tigers continued their streak of 5 straight mythical, district championships. The 9th Grey Tigers ended the season 2-8.