The Lincolnton Wildcatsâ€™ 13-game winning streak came to an end Monday against the Dragons of Crest Middle losing 8-6.
Crest scored on the first play of the game, but was unable to muster any points the rest of the game.
The Wildcatsâ€™ lone score came via an eight-yard fumble return by Jordan Wright. But Lincolnton was unable to convert on the two-point play, which turned out to be the margin of defeat.
Even though their winning streak came to an end, head coach Mike Devine was pleased with his teamâ€™s play.
“Our kids were aware of the streak. After (Crestâ€™s score) our kids
decided they could play with them and they played as
hard as they could play, but just came up a little
short,” he said.
Jimmy Angle at fullback and Caleb Lail at tight end were cited for solid blocking. The duo along with seventh-grader Rashad
Thompson helped Jonathan Ingram rack up another 100 yards against a tough Crest defense.
Devine is blown away by Ingramâ€™s ability.
“Jonathanâ€™s relentless, he`s so relentless. He`s a bull man. He`s one of those people that you hate to tackle, he
delivers the blow. He only weighs 170 pounds, but when you hit him it has to feel like 220,” he said.
On defense, Jordan Abee had an interception. Trip Crisson, Dre` Anderson,
Stewart Cochran, Tre` Smith and Josh Friday were cited by Devine for having an outstanding day.
Former Wildcatsâ€™ head coach Steven Smith reflected on the impressive win streak.
“It was great. We`ve had some real good players the last two
years and we`ve really been fortunate, as far as the
athletes that we`ve had. It`s a big difference from
losing my first 10 games. It makes it a whole lot
funner when you`re actually winning; even though I
did enjoy coaching the kids regardless.â€
Smith, at the beginning of the season, handed over the head coaching reigns to Devine.
“The only reason I let him do it is because I
felt like he was more of a head coach last year, but
the problem was he wasn`t at the school. This year I
felt like he was more suitable for the job,” Smith said of the decision.
So is their competition between Devine and Smith?
“(Stevenâ€™s) really one of my best friends. There is not any competition or a sense of pride of him being in charge
or me being in chargeâ€”we always work so good
together,” he said.
Above just molding good football players, Devine and Smith have a bigger goal for their kids.
“Neither one of us claim to know everything about
football, but both of us want to produce better young
men and we try to run our program accordingly,” Devine said.
Devine believes, no matter what happens in the future, that the Wildcats have 13 games that will last the test of time.
â€œ(The streak) kind of started innocently a couple of years ago.
We won our last three games with them. Last year, all of sudden they went undefeated. This
year we started out 2-0 and it`s just something that
we were grateful for. Our kids just felt like it was
something to build on,” Devine said.
The streak may have come to end on Monday, but the friendship that Smith and Devine have built will last forever.
“We even talked about me being head coach next year and him
being head coach the year after that. I haven`t rubbed it in his face the last three years and he definitely won`t do that to me this year,” Smith said believing thereâ€™s a strong chance that the duo will alternate years as the Wildcatsâ€™ head man.
by John Mark Brooks