ECMS caps off perfect season

Published 3:17 am Monday, January 31, 2005

By Staff
Tim Cottrell
Perfection is something everyone strives for, but few achieve.
This season, the Escambia County Middle School Eagles completed their fourth perfect season in eight years.
Robert Smith, who has coached the Eagles during those eight seasons, was very pleased with his team's efforts.
"In my eight years of coaching middle school basketball, this team was by far the youngest," Smith said. "I've started one seventh-grader in eight years and this year I was starting three and sometimes four. I also never had this many (seven) seventh-graders on the roster."
Despite the youthfulness of the roster, Smith and his players seemed to gel.
"They really responded well to coaching," Smith said. "They listened to what I say and they are very proud of what they accomplished."
The Eagles have good reason to be proud. Winning the St. Paul's Invitational and winning on the road against Wilson Hall Middle School were the two wins Smith was most proud of.
"George Co. (Miss.) in the St. Paul's tourney was a tough game," Smith said. "But I think I might've been more proud of them for beating Wilson Hall on the road. Not many teams do that."
Smith, however, had a different game in mind as the toughest for him.
"When we played Flomaton, things were difficult for me because my son is on that team," Smith said. "It made things a bit awkward."
The encouraging prospect for Smith is the fact that so many of his players are returning for next year.
"We've got seven seventh-graders coming back next year and they will probably provide all of our starting spots," Smith said. "The only way the starting lineup is going to look much different next year would be someone transferring."
While Smith, who also teaches Career Development at the middle school and is an assistant football coach for Escambia County High School, was proud of the accomplishment, he wanted to give out credit and thanks as well.
"I really want to thank the players first and foremost," Smith said. "I couldn't have done this without them. Also I would like to thank the administration and faculty for supporting the team, as well as the student body and the community-at-large for attending each game."

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