MILTON — The Milton High School freshman football team has defeated every team it played this season, finishing the season 7-0.

The Freshman Panthers’ 40-6 win Oct. 26 over Pace High School turned out to be their final game of the season after a scheduling error meant there would be no game against the Pine Forest High team.

“We’re actually a little disappointed we didn’t get the opportunity to play that last game because we were really looking forward to it,” MHS freshman head coach Kevin Jordan said. “Pine Forest has a very good ninth-grade team.”

Jordan had nothing but praise for both his players and the coaching staff.

“I’m extremely proud of the season we had. It’s been a while since the ninth-grade team went undefeated. I’m very proud of these kids and the effort they put into the season at practice, which carried over into the games. I felt like our staff did an outstanding job from week to week forcing the kids to be accountable at practice…They did a great job game-planning after watching film.”

Jordan spent the previous six years as the varsity defense coach. This was his first year at the helm of the freshman team. Jordan’s challenge was not only coaching but also teaching the sport.

“We had 15 to 20 of our players on our team who never played football before at all, not even in youth leagues,” Jordan said. “We were doing a lot of teaching at this level…You really have to teach the basics of the game. I thought our kids did a wonderful job of being coachable. They were really very eager to learn the game. That’s a difference you see at the freshmen level. It boils down to basics…You have to go over everything.”

Jordan knew the team was something special after beating West Florida High School of Advanced Technology in the second game. The game was close with a final score of 21 to 14. The final touchdown, Jordan said, the Panthers scored with approximately 30 seconds left.

“Going into West Florida we knew would be extremely difficult,” Jordan said. “They’re one of the more talented teams in the area in freshman football. They had two undefeated seasons in a row the last two years. This was the first game they lost in two years…That was a turning point from a confidence standpoint.”

The coaching staff never talked about going undefeated during the season.

“We never addressed it,” Jordan said. “We felt like we didn’t need to address it. We talked about our goals of showing up every Thursday night and playing as well as we could play…We didn’t want to, especially with younger kids that have their mind on something else besides what it took to win on that particular Thursday night.”

Jordan felt his team is special because of his players’ character on and off the field.

“Any time you have a class that is good athletically but also are good leaders and good people, good students,” he said, “you have a chance to have a special class. We talked to this group about staying together and concentrating on school…staying out of trouble. Very few of our kids had any referrals during football season. These kids as a whole are very well mannered.”

Jordan believes some of the freshman players could make the varsity team next year but has the same advice for all of them.

“There are bigger things down the road,” Jordan said. “You’ve got to keep your head on straight and keep working. Don’t let any day go by that you’re not trying to get better at what you do.”

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