Exeter-Milligan/Friend Jr High football team front row from the left: Chase Paulsen, Jayden Capek, Jacob Klooz, Will Vyhnalek and Aidan Vavra. Second row from the left: Dayton Kremer, Mason Vossler, Tyrell Fennell, Mikey Bartu, Zach Spohn, and Carter Milton. Third row from the left: Brett Kallhoff, Chase Macdonald, Riley Conner, Zach Rabenhorst, Hunter Svehla, and Josiah Oceguera. Back row from the left: Jonah Geiger, Jase Luzum, Christian Conley, Caleb Black, Carver Kanode and Max Johnson
Story by Jay Hitchcock, photo by Leesa K. Bartu
Game 1 @ Friend vs. High Plains- Win 20-6 EMF got off to a rough beginning to the game as on the first offensive series our starting 1 back, Mikey Bartu, got injured and lost for the rest of the season. EMF did manage to pull out the win in an ugly game in which we had to move players around to different positions.
Game 2 @ Friend vs. Diller Odell- Win 52-14 EMF came out strong from the start dominating in all phases of the game.
Game 3 @ Milligan vs Thayer Central Loss 0-20 Thayer Central was a very tough foe. They had very large and athletic kids. We struggled to move the ball as consistently as we would like and made mistakes when we had opportunities to put points on the board.
Game 4 @ Meridian- Win 62-12 Meridian presented a unique challenge as we had to play defense against a 6 man offense which can be confusing if you are not used to playing 6 man football. Meridian scored quickly on their first possession, then recovered the onside kick and scored again! EMF found themselves in a hole but recovered, holding Meridian to 0 points after that and scoring 62 unanswered points.
Game 5 @ Shelby-Loss 18-36 EMF was in a dogfight from the start keeping the game close in the first half. In the second half we made too many mistakes and had some untimely penalties to stall drives.
Game 6 @ Heartland- Win 24-18 EMF played a tough game overcoming the fact that we were missing some players for various reasons and Jacob Klooz was playing with a lot of pain and only able to use one arm. We had kids step up and help us do enough to secure the win.
Coach Cerveny and Hitchcock are very proud of the guys. They had to overcome a lot of obstacles this year including injuries and Covid. When we lost Mikey to injury we lost a very strong team leader. This was unfortunate but did give Jacob Klooz and Aiden Vavra a chance to step up and develop as team leaders and they did step up in a big way! We look forward to next year as we have a strong core of talented 7th graders who are capable of a strong season next year.