Team goes undefeated, outscoring opponents 262-0
BY ANDY LEE WHITE
FOR THE OBSERVER
AUBURN — Lee-Scott Academy’s 2023 Pee Wee football team celebrated the end of a perfect season last Thursday afternoon with a pizza party and inter-squad tag football games.
The Pee Wee Warriors finished the year 7-0, including beating longtime rivals Glenwood School and Chambers Academy twice each this season.
Head coach Robert Ezell praised assistant coaches Al Henry, Brent Miller and David Zachry, whom he credited for their integral parts of the Pee Wee Warriors’ undefeated season, during which Lee-Scott outscored its opponents 262-0.
The closest contest for Lee-Scott this year was a 24-0 victory against a tough Chambers Academy team. Ezell credits the play of his sixth graders as the key component to putting together a statement season like the team had.
“All 16 of our sixth graders were valuable,” he said. “This sixth-grade bunch was the best I ever had. I can plug and play any of them.”
Standout performances noted by Ezell included Colton Zachry’s single-game feat of six carries for 194 yards and four touchdowns against Ft. Dale; Jackson (Fish) Wheeles’ defensive play at outside linebacker against Glenwood, who picked off two passes, returning one of them to the one-yard line; and Shepherd Cumbie’s standout game against Chambers Academy at receiver, who caught a TD pass covering 75 yards and scored two more TDs rushing. Cumbie also played defense and led the team with five interceptions this year.
Andrew Owen, whom Ezell said “would hit you harder than anyone,” was the overwhelming choice when this year’s sixth graders were asked who they thought was the most aggressive headhunter on defense. Owen was also the unanimous choice by his fellow players when they were asked who was the most likely to “tote it to the house” (score a TD).
Ezell said he was proud of the season that sixth graders Ellis Johnson, Anderson Dobbs and Walker Bancroft had at receiver, along with the quarterback play of Cooper Moore and Sims Prewett.
“Our sixth graders were standout players this year, and Jacob Pace, Hampton Lewis, Wheeler Frye, Luke Langford, Garner Weeks, Smith Sawyer and Slade Yates all were important contributors to our undefeated season.”
Ezell said the Lee-Scott Pee Wee football team runs the same offensive scheme as the JV and varsity teams, which come in handy, as all of this year’s sixth graders said they plan to continue their football careers next year as members of the JV team. This year’s team lineup included 16 sixth-graders and 18 fifth-graders. He said some schools include fourth and fifth graders on their rosters, but the Warriors had enough players (34) without having to draw from the lower grades.
Ezell credited head varsity football coach Buster Daniel with everything he’s learned over the past few years.
“He runs a great program, and you can see the results of that with last year’s state championship,” he said.
Team moms Emily Meador and Nicki Rice provided pizza and refreshments for the players. Ezell praised the two moms as being “a crucial part of this year’s team who always go above and beyond for our players.”
Ezell said they don’t normally give out awards at the end of the year, but since the Warriors finished undefeated and didn’t allow any points from opponents, the school decided to get rings for the players.
“I’ve been coaching Pee Wee football for nine years, and this is the best sixth-grade class ever,” he said. “I’m also excited about seeing this year’s fifth-grade class move up next year. I tell our first-year fifth-graders, ‘It’s nothing but noise — it’s gonna hurt a little bit, but it’s nothing but noise.’ Once they figure out it doesn’t hurt, that’s when I teach them that it’s better to be the hammer than the nail.”