SAYDEL — The new campaign for both seventh and eighth grade football began Thursday for Perry with a trip to Saydel.
The results were not as the Bluejays would have preferred, with the eighth grade suffering a 31-12 loss while the seventh grade was handed a 32-6 setback, but the Perry coaches said they found plenty of reason for optimism.
The Bluejay eighth grade scored when Jacob Cerna-Gomez intercepted an Eagle pass in halfway back in the end zone and burst free, sprinting 105 yards to the opposite goal line for a Perry touchdown.
Perry also scored when Wyatt Belgarde broke loose for a nearly 40-yard TD run, with Ty Brokaw helping spring the play with a key downfield block.
The seventh graders posted their points when quarterback Jackson Heinkel connected with Phillip Gray for a 60-yard score.
Matthew Hardy is coaching the offense for both teams and Jason Olejniczak the defenses. Sam Elliott, Josh Sass, and Matt Bramer are assisting.
The Perry coaches have been involved in creating increased involvement with local youth and those efforts are beginning to take root.
There are currently 22 players on the eighth grade roster and 19 on the seventh grade list. A total of 116 youngsters are participating in the K-6 programs. Grade 3-6 teams play contests, with K-2 simply a skills and learning process.
The Perry middle schoolers host Greene County Thursday, with a trip to South Hamilton slated for Sept. 23. They will then entertain West Marshall (Sept. 30), Nevada (Oct. 12), and Saydel (Oct. 19).