Three years. Eighteen games. Zero losses.
On October 15, 2015, the Lowndes Middle School Vikings’ eighth-grade football team defeated the Panthers of J.L. Newbern Middle School by a score of 36-16. The players shouted in jubilation; fans, family members, coaches, and administration were all on hand for the event. This particular win did more than simply add a win to the Vikings’ already-stellar 2015 season; it even did more than ensure that they had completed a perfect 6-0 run through this year’s schedule.
Lowndes Middle’s win solidified an unparalleled run. It finalized a streak of three straight years that these young men never experienced the sting of defeat. The eighth-grade Vikings ran the table since they came into middle school, and after an undefeated sixth- and seventh-grade campaign, the final game over the Panthers was the icing on the cake.
“These boys are driven,” says Chris Tindall, Lowndes Middle School’s head coach. “They worked hard all three years.”
While this was his 22nd year of coaching, Coach Tindall came into the Lowndes Middle coaching ranks in 2013; the same year that the current eighth-graders began middle school.
“The sixth-graders worked incredibly hard to make this possible,” he says. “They’re intrinsically motivated; that’s the best part. They don’t need awards or trophies. They had the drive to want to be the best, simply because they weren’t willing to accept less.”
Prior to the sixth-graders’ run, the current ninth-grade Vikings went on a similar run. They were undefeated as seventh- and eighth-graders. However, their undefeated streak only spanned two years. After the sixth-graders matched that mark, the conversation began. The hard work increased. The motivated provided more fuel. And, six games later, the dream became a reality.
“These are just great young men,” Coach Tindall says. “Many guys come through this program, but there is just something special about this group. Usually with a group this age, there are questions of maturity, either mentally or physically. We didn’t have those issues. They wanted to get the job done, and they did what it took to make it happen.”
Next year, these student-athletes will be moving on to the high school level. However; their accomplishments, their memories, and, most importantly, their streak, will all remain intact. The 2015 eighth-grade Vikings will remain a staple of Lowndes heritage and pride. Forever.
Sidebar: “This entire group is extremely talented, but there are three young men in particular that I’d like to recognize. (Running back and linebacker) Shawn Martin, (running back and safety) Ghetti Brown, and (fullback and defensive end) James Hill were leaders these last three seasons. Their work ethic and determination paved the way for this team’s success.”
Sidebar 2: “Not only are the boys talented, they are backed by a terrific coaching staff. I couldn’t do this alone. With the support of Justin Blocker, Ed Mitchell, Antonio Wesley, and Scott Wildes, along with numerous volunteers, these boys were able to set a mark that had never been reached in this program.”
South Georgia / December 2015
Lowndes Middle School Football
LMS Vikings Set Unprecedented Milestone
By James Washington
Photography Courtesy of Lowndes Middle School