Knights represent Taylor County well at Middle School 7v7


GRAFTON—McKinney Field was abuzz with activity on Monday, as the Grafton High School Bearcat Football team hosted a Middle School 7v7 tournament.

During the day, middle school football teams took part in quick games against one another, all in the hopes of being named champion.

In total, eight teams took the field Monday morning for play, including teams from Jackson, University, Doddridge, Blennerhassett, Buckhannon-Upshur and Mountaineer Middle Schools. 

Taylor County was represented by two teams of Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Knights, a white team led by Assistant Coach Keith Hodges and a grey team, under the leadership of Assistant Coach Logan Beltner.

Made up of two four-team pools, players took to the field in 20-minute matchups, and in between sets of games, lineman challenges broke up play.

Both Taylor County teams played hard, even going up against one another, and at the end of the contest, they would earn top spots, coming in right behind University Middle School’s Hawks, who claimed the championship.

After getting off to a rough start, Taylor County White claimed a second-place finish at the tournament, while Taylor County Grey came in right behind in third place.

“If you asked someone if they thought we’d have two teams going up against one another to advance on to the championship game today and they said yes, they’d be lying,” Taylor County Middle School Head Football Coach Bobby Beltner said to his team, noting that both teams faced some struggles during the event. “But you guys rallied, and you pulled it out, and I’m proud of that effort!”

During the day, linemen also showed their muscle through various challenges that tested not only their strength but agility and drive.

Those challenges included a bench press, speed sleds, man tire flip, farmers walk, agility bag relay, man sled and pro agility. But the main event was the Lineman Tug of War Tournament, where teams showcased their strength at mid-field.

Beltner wasn’t the only coach to notice the hard work and effort that the young players had put in on the field, displaying both talent and teamwork.

“I just want to thank you guys for coming out today,” said GHS Head Football Coach Mickey Foley to the Knights. “You all have already put in a good amount of work, and it shows!”

He told the Knights that he was excited to see what they would do as they moved up to the Bearcat level, because he knows that they will only continue to grow in the sport.

The 2022 GHS Football Middle School 7v7 was hosted as a fundraiser for the Bearcat Football team, who is excited to get their season underway. The fun and excitement will kick off on August 26 in a road contest at Philip Barbour.

© 2022-Mountain Statesman

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