The Los Alamitos-based WaterBoys U10 Flag Football Team took home the win at a Temecula tourney this weekend, allowing only one touchdown in all five games.
Though a number of contenders from across the southland played in the 2013 Winter Pride 6-6 Elite Flag Football Tournament, the championship match saw a Los Al versus Los Al battle with the WaterBoys playing the local Cardinals.
Here's the story, complete with commentary, from Mark Michaelsen, Head Coach, of the Los Alamitos-based WaterBoys U10 Flag Football team.
The WaterBoys from Los Alamitos Friday Night Lights football traveled to Temecula for the 2013 Winter Pride 6-6 Elite Flag Football Tournament this past weekend.
Tournament Commissioner Mike Vaez put the event together in the hope that teams would travel from all over Southern California to compete at the beautiful Birdsall Park Sports complex. His hope became a reality as division after division sold out well in advance of the event.
San Diego, Carlsbad, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Los Alamitos/Seal Beach, Murrieta and Tustin were all represented, some by multiple teams. The talent was deep from all over the Southland, and the competition was fierce.
The Waterboys team was assembled a few weeks ago and met each week to practice plays and defense. Los Alamitos standout nose guard Graham Archer took over the Defensive Coordinator responsibilities and did a remarkable job.
In five games of the tournament, the WaterBoys allowed just one touchdown.
The weather made the games challenging with periods of rain and periodic winds gusting to 20 mph. Air temps were in the 50s. Regardless, the smiles were as abundant as the incredible plays turned in by almost all of the teams as the day went on.
The first two rounds of play found the WaterBoys seeded No. 1 after the first two rounds of play. Also catching a bye for the first round of single elimination play was Ryan Ketchum’s Los Alamitos Cardinals, which featured an incredible cast of athletes who between them have won numerous Friday Night Lights championships.
The Cardinals were seeded No. 2, setting the stage for an all-Los Alamitos championship game as teams from other cities were eliminated one by one. Play had started at 10 a.m. sharp and some seven hours later The WaterBoys and the Cardinals met on field one for the Championship game.
The Championship found both teams struggling to move the ball. An almost all-passing attack by the Cardinals was proving more effective than the more conservative ground game The WaterBoys were using 80 percent of the time.
But when you throw the ball three things can happen … and two of them are bad. Sure enough the Cardinals quarterback rolled left and threw to the flat, where 3rd grader Sam Vander Hill went vertical and ripped it out of the air. Landing on both feet Vander Hill, scampered to the end zone for the touchdown.
You can see the play here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA1a8gGeHxM&feature=youtu.be
Counting on what had been a nearly flawless defense, the Waterboys scaled back on our aggressiveness and opted to keep the ball on the ground for most of the rest of the game. The Cardinals did not lose the game, they just ran out of time.
The Championship game ended Waterboys 6 - Cardinals 0.
Before the beginning of the championship game, Michaelsen said, “Everything we did to get to this moment we did together. One team, one purpose, one goal.”
Coaches comments: Thanks again to Temecula Friday Night Lights for a fantastic tournament. We’ll be back again next year for sure! Get your son or daughter involved with Friday night Lights football too.
You won’t believe how much fun you can have in just 40 minutes of play! Locally you can learn more by visiting: www.losalfnl.com