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Charger 8th-graders get steak for perfect season

At the beginning of the season, an Oxford Middle School coach made a promise to young football players if they set a record by going undefeated, they would be rewarded with a steak dinner.

Coach Perry Swindall coached Oxford’s eighth-grade football team for its first undefeated season.

“It was a very special group of guys that had a lot of talent and skill both in class and on the field,” Swindall said.

Ever since this season started, the players have been dedicated and focused on setting a record Swindall challenged them. The players were able to enjoy the steak dinner Oct. 23 with their teammates to celebrate not only the record-breaking victory, but also the teamwork it took to make it happen.

“It felt great to be undefeated because we were the first to be undefeated and to make coach Swindall and my coaches proud,” player Jeremiah Pegues, 13, said.

Pegues said his favorite part was the pray before eating the lunch the last time with each other, praying as a team as well as getting to see his teammates in a safe room having fun and celebrating the undefeated season.

“I think the entire team was ecstatic and overjoyed that we were able to accomplish such a feat,” quarterback John Meagher said. “Every single person on our team played a role in helping us going undefeated.”

Meagher said the team came together to accomplish the goal, but the managers and staff played indispensible roles.

“I think our biggest contribution though came from the coaches. Because of them, we were able to work hard every day and improve to become the best that we could be,” Meagher said.

Another key player was running back KJ Wadley. Wadley said it feels great to be the first undefeated eighth-grade team.

“Coach Swindall is a great coach! When it’s time to work, we work. He pushes us every day to be good players, athletes and role models,” Wadley said. “Every day, we worked our butts off at practice and in the weight room to get better so we would have a chance at history. Being undefeated wasn’t given to us, we worked for it.”