The Rim Country Middle School Maverick eighth-grade football team wrapped up the 1999 gridiron campaign with a 56-6 whitewashing of the Whiteriver Rough Riders.
The win, Oct. 7 on the PHS field, lifted the Mav's season record to 6-1, 5-1 in White Mountain League play.
Under the tutelage of Bob Hoyt the past two seasons, the RCMS squad has amassed an 11-2 record relying on an offense that has averaged 33ppg and a defense that has held opponents to only 11ppg.
The RCMS coaching staff of Hoyt and former PHS star Chris Harold chiseled out a well-balanced team but it was the feats of 6-foot, 3-inch fullback Mike Barr that had tongues a waggin' wherever the Mavs traveled.
Physically imposing for a middle school student, Barr was able to run over and through opposing defenses all season. Seldom did one player bring him down on running plays between the tackles. As a lead blocker on isolation plays, he sent many an opposing linebacker reeling into oblivion
Against Whiteriver and Holbrook a week earlier, Hoyt chose to set Barr out most of the second halves "so we wouldn't score 100 points."
The coach describes Barr simply as "an exceptional football player."
In addition to his offensive exploits, Barr was a defensive demon. Against Whiteriver, he returned an interception 35 yards for a TD. Minutes later, he turned in another gem when he stripped the ball from the Rough Rider signal caller and ran it back 40 yards for a score.
In the 50-12 win over Holbrook, Barr "dominated on both sides of the ball," Hoyt said. Offensively, he chalked up over 170 yards in total offense and returned an intercepted pass 40 yards for a touchdown.
But Barr wasn't the only standout player in the Maverick arsenal, according to Hoyt.
The coach cited the abilities of quarterback Chad McRae to execute option plays and the running of Billy Bob Hoyt, his son, and Trevor LaHaye as contributors to the Mav's success.
Brandon Kelley, an elusive 90-pound scatback, was also an offensive threat from his slot and I back positions.
Defensively the Mavericks boast several standouts including Kevin Moran, Ashton Shewey, Evan Martin, Brian Langeliers and Dustin Rogers, the coach said.
J.R. Szabo, the team's quarterback last year, injured his knee early in the season and did not return until the final two games of the season.
Then, he played only defense.
The single loss the team suffered was a 13-6 setback to St. Johns in mid-season.
Last year, Show Low ended the team's hopes for a perfect season.
With the football campaign at an end, the middle school students will turn their attention to wrestling. Practices for the team began Monday under the watchful eye of coach Jon Vick who will be shooting for the school's first WML wrestling title.