UCMS eighth grade football players Colton Roberts, left, and Dylan Adams recently competed for coach Ryan Witten and the Witten Huddle program. (Contributed photo)

UCMS eighth grade football players Colton Roberts, left, and Dylan Adams recently competed for coach Ryan Witten and the Witten Huddle program. (Contributed photo)

From Staff Reports

Two Unicoi County Middle School eighth grade football players were given the opportunity to keep playing on the gridiron after their season ended.

Recently, Jr. Blue a Colton Roberts and Dylan Adams played with other eighth graders from schools in Northeast Tennessee on a Witten Huddle team.

“Our team is composed of our eighth graders who participate in our Witten Huddle development training throughout the offseason,” said Ryan Witten, head coach of Witten Huddle. “We combined approximately 24 eighth graders from different schools who wished to compete in two tournaments in Richlands, Va., and Knoxville. We finished second place in Richlands, the Big Blue Bash, and went 2-2 in the Knoxville tournament, the Battle in Rocky Top.”

Witten said the two Jr. Blue Devils were chosen for his team because of their previous work with the program.

“Witten Huddle has benefited from many opportunities to come to Unicoi and work with many football athletes from all ages including senior quarterback Kendrick Williams,” Witten said. “Colton Roberts and Dylan Adams both were selected because of their commitment to Witten Huddle this past off season.”

Witten said he liked what he saw from the UCMS players.

“Colton Roberts brought a unique competitive nature to our team,” Witten added. “Colton is small in size but with a big heart, is always giving his all. Colton plays hard as he possibly can and is very enjoyable to be around which brings out the best in his teammates

“Dylan Adams is a quiet but smart athlete who brought a toughness to our team. Dylan is quick to learn new skills, new drills and new terminology needed for him to succeed. “Dylan is tall and athletic which allows him to be a real playmaker on the outside.”

The goal of the program is preparing regional football players for high school competition.

“The expectations for all our athletes on the team is to shape them and prepare them so they are fully ready to go once they step on to their high school campus,” Witten added. “We try to teach them the fundamentals and skills needed to succeed at the next level, which for them is high school.

“Witten Huddle allows athletes to overcome their fear through positive teaching in a positive atmosphere. We teach our athletes the fundamentals needed for success in their individual situations. I appreciate the opportunity to work with athletes from Unicoi County and look forward to developing more relationships in the future.”