MARYSVILLE — Totem Middle School supporters had something to celebrate on Wednesday, Oct. 24, as the Thunderbirds football team remained undefeated for the whole season, for the first time since 2002.
“This has been an awesome group,” said Travis Marsh, head coach. “It’s rare that you get so many quality kids together. They work so hard, they stay after practice, they come early. They just have great sportsmanship.”
The Thunderbirds team is made up of 38 eighth-grade students who maintained an undefeated record for only the second time in school history, with the first feat taking place in 2002, when Totem was a junior high school.
“We’ve always said that you have to win and lose with class, and they’ve taken the winning in stride,” said Marsh.
Totem also celebrated a new tradition that’s only been around for two years, a tailgate party for the last game day of the season.
“It’s an idea of Michele Sawyer, our community liaison,” said Marsh. “We’ve never had anything like this. She just has a knack for bringing people together. It’s changing the public perception of our schools and our kids and I love it.”
The tailgate party began at 3 p.m. and included handmade signs cheering on the team, borrowed pompoms and free hotdogs and soda. Sawyer started the tradition to support the school’s football program.
“These kids are doing a fantastic job and we are here to cheer on the T-birds,” she said.
Totem Middle School Principal Robert Kalahan is excited about the success of the football team and also the support from the community.
“We only have football at the eighth grade level, since sports programs have been cut,” said Kalahan. “It is great that the PTSA and the community support these kids and celebrate what they’re doing here. We love to see all this community participation in supporting the teams and going to games. We are starting our volleyball and basketball programs soon and we’d love to have the community come in and cheer on those kids as well.”