McCORDSVILLE — A pair of Mt. Vernon Middle School seventh-grade football players — running back Donivan Wright and defensive end Dalton Davis — recently helped lead Team Indiana to the top tier of the Football University program.
Their final game, the Seventh Grade National Championship semifinal game, took place at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex in San Antonio against South Florida. The South Florida team swamped Indiana with a high-powered defense, and the local boys finished third in the tournament of 64.
“It would be great to win it all, but it was really great to get to play for that team, and that type of talent,” Donivan said. “We got to play against different people from different states, to see how good I really am.”
Football University is an invitation-only football training experience that encourages players to focus on developing abilities and attaining elite-level skills. Team Indiana defeated North Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland and South Connecticut in the Football University national tourney before traveling to San Antonio for the finals.
Indiana faced Seattle in its semifinal at the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, while Iowa battled South Florida in the other semifinal match. At that point, the group of seventh-graders had only known and practiced with each other for a few weeks.
“We just kind of met, and didn’t really know each other. By the end in San Antonio, we were all best friends,” Dalton said.
Dalton and Donivan have known each other since elementary school and played together on their seventh-grade Mt. Vernon team.
“We were playing sports together,” Donivan said. “We played against each other, but we were really good friends then, too.”
In a game against Noblesville last year, they were approached and recruited for Football University’s program, after a game in which they both excelled. At that point, they knew very little about the organization.
Since they have joined Football University, the boys impressed their parents with how well they handled themselves in San Antonio. They took the tournament seriously and stayed focused.