Douglas Tigers Pee Wee squad shows its pride
Our own Douglas Tigers Pee Wee Division made history when they earned the honor of competing in the Pop Warner Super bowl in Orlando, Fla. last week.
One of my neighbors, Joseph Ahart, is on the team, and he filled me in on the team’s adventure after he returned home on Sunday.
I’m not one who follows football, so Joe patiently did a bit of backtracking to explain how the Tigers played their way to the Nationals.
Their record was a remarkable 12 wins and two losses. Post season, they played in the Snow Bowl, where they defeated the Reno Chiefs 6-0. The Chiefs were the only team to beat Douglas during the regular season.
Their win at the Snow Bowl advanced them to the regionals in Reno. You may recall that the regionals were held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when we had one of our awesome Northern Nevada snowstorms. At 10 a.m. the snow was coming down so hard that the field lights had to be turned on.
Due to past experience playing in such conditions, excellent teamwork and wonderful coaching, the Tigers defeated the Almaden, Calif., Chargers 20-0. This was their ticket to the nationals in Florida!
Joe explained that the 34 team members, coaches and chaperones had only a matter of days to generate enough money to cover travel expenses for the team.
This was accomplished through the cash donations of several local businesses, a fund-raiser at the Coyote Grill, a door-to-door “Orlando-Thon,” and generous donations made by friends, neighbors, and supporters in the community.
The Tigers stayed at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Although they worked out and held practice, they did find time to enjoy several of the local theme parks. Joe says his favorite was MGM Studios because of its “Tower of Terror” and “Rock and Roller Coaster.”
Games were held at Wide World of Sports, the Disney Sports Complex. “We played on grass but it looked like turf. That is until we tore it up,” Joe said with a smile.
On Dec. 8, Douglas played the Yuma, Ariz., Scorpions. The Scorpions had a dramatic last-minute field goal attempt, but it was blocked. The ending score was 14-12 and Douglas headed to the finals.
The Tigers incredible season came to an end after losing to the Newington, Conn. Knights on Thursday. “We got second in the nation,” Joe said modestly.
I gulped. Our own Douglas Tigers! Second in the nation! The team will receive awards and trophies at their upcoming banquet.
Joe’s affection for his coaches and for his team is evident. “I hope I’m on Coach Dillon’s team next year,” he said. “He’s a really good coach, and a good tactician. All the coaches were great this year.”
I asked Joe what the highlight of the trip was for him. He thought a moment and replied, “I had fun. I had fun and I got to play football.”
Congratulations to the Douglas Tigers Pee Wee Division. Your hard work and dedication showcased Douglas Pride to the nation!
— Amy Roby can be reached at RanchosRoundup@hotmail.com.