It wasn’t a playoff victory, but it’ll have to be good enough. And a seven-win season isn’t a bad consolation prize.
The Leverett’s Chapel Lions finished their 2017 football season Friday night at home against rival Apple Springs, dealing the Eagles a 42-27 loss in the season finale for both six-man teams.
LC completed its schedule with a 7-3 record, losing to Marshall Christian (non-district), Union Hill and High Island. The UIL takes the top four teams in a district to the playoffs in regular, 11-man football, but only the top two teams from each district in six-man ball. Union Hill and High Island finished as the two playoff teams in District 16-1A, Division I.
For LC in the win, Dawson Blear finished 6-of-8 for 81 yards passing and a touchdown. Walter Jones, who was the quarterback/ spreadback for LC earlier in the season before an injury, got back into the lineup in the finale, going 5-of-9 for 24 yards and a score.
Alexis Chavez had nine carries for 41 yards and two touchdowns for coach Andy Bates and the Lions. He also was 1-of-1, throwing a touchdown, and had six catches for 52 yards and a touchdown of his own.
The defense was led by Colton Glasco, who Bates noted played outstanding, along with Jonah Shepard, who had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a 78-yard touchdown.
The Lions have had some coaching changes in recent years, and have made the playoffs in two of the last four seasons. They went to the second round in 2014, and last made the playoffs in 2016, losing in the first round to Tioga.
Leverett’s Chapel’s football program has had quite a journey: the school established a regular program in 1981, but halted it in 1986. The school resumed football in 2005 in a six-man format, with current principal Matt Everett as head coach. Everett was the school’s coach through 2014, and Wes McWhorter, his former assistant, was tabbed head coach. Bates was brought on as an assistant.
But sadly, McWhorter never coached a game as head coach; he was diagnosed with cancer, and Bates became interim coach. McWhorter passed away, and Bates was named head coach before last season, leading the Lions to the playoffs.