On a sunny Saturday, Oct. 2, the seventh grade Teton Valley football team claimed a win over Hillcrest and locked in its status as division champions with a perfect season.
The Teton Valley Grid Kid program is no stranger to undefeated seasons, said seventh grade coach James Fullmer. He’s coached the same team since they were in fifth grade, and they’ve gone undefeated in the regular season every year.
“The talent’s there, we’ve got some pretty good kids,” said Fullmer, who has one son on the team and another helping him coach.
The teams, from fourth to eighth grade, begin practicing three days per week in August and play on Saturdays through the beginning of September. Because it’s not a school-based program, they compete against much bigger programs, but Teton’s kids hold their own.
Of the six games the seventh graders won, Fullmer said Rigby was the toughest. Now that the team will go into the play-offs, starting this week, they’ll face kids that only get tougher and bigger.
“It’s a big deal to make it to play-offs, but it’s tough to start winning games once you’re there,” he said. “We have a pretty good opportunity to win at least a few.”
He credited his fellow coaches, Sid Kunz, Jessie Wilcox, and James Fullmer (Junior), with their help at every game and practice. The program as a whole also gets support from Sam Zogg, Adam Williamson, Sam Stevens, Tuck Atchley, Josh Richardson, and Ben Bollinger.
“Without them the program would go nowhere,” Fullmer said. “Everything is volunteer, but we get some great coaches.”
The high school football program welcomes the seasoned Grid Kids; this year’s sophomore and junior class, coached by Rob Heuseveldt and Fullmer, respectively, both enjoyed multiple years of undefeated streaks in their younger days.
If Teton Valley wins any play-off games, it could host a future home game as the higher-seeded team. “Come out and support the kids, support the coaches,” Fullmer said.