Brownstown seventh graders complete undefeated season

On Oct. 6, the Brownstown Central seventh grade football game had its final game of the season against Scottsburg.

Every team wants to win every game, and ending the season on a winning note is always nice. But this game had a little more meaning to it for the Braves.

If Brownstown won, they would have finished the season with an undefeated record of 8-0.

This game between the Braves and Warriors was tied at 14, and Brownstown had the ball in the red zone. On the final play of the game, the Braves ran a double reverse that led to a walk-off touchdown.

“I think it was a big weight off their shoulder,” coach Gregory Goshorn said. “They were very excited to get that win and seal the undefeated season.”

The team took a selfie after the game holding up the No. 1.

The players representing Brownstown’s seventh grade team were Conner Brewster, Dawson Branaman, Brayden Grider, Domanik Cody, Linden Lanier, Mason McKeown, Mason Harris-Rameriez, Prather Peters, Kolton Merrifield, Quentin Bishop, Ashton Kellogg, Tucker McCrary, Dylan Toppe, Silas Brown, Matthew Sitterding, Eli Hutchison, Landyn Arnold, Cooper Taggert, Keatyn Hallett, Briar Pumphrey and William Ogle.

The Brownstown Central Middle School program has six coaches — Goshorn, Clark Hauer, Brian Savilla, Todd Brown, Brian Branaman and Adam Capes — and on game days, three will coach eighth grade and three will coach seventh grade.

In the game against Scottsburg, Goshorn was warming up with the eighth-graders when he watched the Braves draw up the game-winning play.

“It’s our normal jet,” he said. “The coaching staff did a good job, saw they were over-pursuing, so they ran a reverse off of that. That’s something that, while it was still in our offense, we kind of tweaked it a little bit and that’s why you have to give the seventh grade coaching staff for seeing that and making that call.”

The reality of an undefeated season became real when Brownstown was able to defeat Salem in Week 4. Goshorn said Salem always has a good football program, so that was a good win for the Braves.

Then when they played Seymour in the penultimate week of the season, Goshorn said you never know what can happen in those games with the Owls, but the Braves were able to take care of business.

“Going into the last game, we thought we had a chance to have the undefeated season,” he said.

Goshorn graduated from Columbus East in 2001, which was the year right before the Olympians went on that incredible streak of 96-straight Hoosier Hills Conference games.

This is Goshorn’s seventh season with the Brownstown Central Middle School program, which he described as a family atmosphere. The coachability of the kids this season was a big reason why the Braves were successful, despite dealing with some injuries.

“The kids were very coachable,” Goshorn said. “We were able to put people in positions each week, and people were able to respond very well. Had a lot of moving parts and pieces, but they were very quick to learn and apply what was taught.”

Goshorn and the Brownstown coaches are tasked with a unique game plan to get the middle school kids learning the schemes that the Brownstown Central High School team runs.

Varsity head coach Reed May is 291-62 in his 30 years with the Braves. Brownstown’s run-heavy offense in the Wing-T formation is a formula that May has used to help keep the team so successful.

When the middle-schoolers start learning that system early on, it helps when they get to high school. It’s a team effort across the board in Brownstown, and that’s why there’s a lot of winning Braves football.

“We’re very proud to work with the kids and instill the offense and the defense that coach May puts in front of us,” Goshorn said. “That is definitely our game plan. We’re there to nurture, to teach and to provide players for coach May to build upon. His track record speaks for itself. Once they get into his weight program and on his team, they flourish and grow. At our level, we start basic, do the fundamentals and get as many as we can up to the high school.”