East Valley Youth Football Team Heads To Florida For National Championships SanTan Sun News

East Valley Youth Football Team Heads To Florida For National Championships

East Valley Youth Football Team Heads To Florida For National Championships
Sports and Recreation

By Zach Alvira

STSN Sports Editor

An East Valley youth football team heads cross-country today to play in the American Youth Football Organization national championships in Kissimmee, Fla.

The Southeast Valley Titans will represent Arizona as a result of defeating Gilbert/Chandler Elite, 31-6, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe in the Pee Wee division state championship.

“The boys have worked hard and they deserve this experience,” said Larry Davis, Titans head coach. “They’re ecstatic. Now it is really starting to get real.”

The Titans – comprising 25 players ages 11-13 in the Southeast Valley – finished 11-0. Along with Davis, five other coaches make up the staff, including offensive coordinator Eddy Zubey, who is head coach at Higley High.

The Titans join 180 other teams from across the nation for a chance to win a national title in their respective divisions.

Each team is guaranteed at least two games. The first game is Sunday, Dec. 2. The winning teams will advance in the tournament, while the losing team will go into a consolation bracket.

The Titans have been together for three seasons. Last year, they also went undefeated but fell in the first round of the playoffs.

“You acknowledge that you would have to represent the state at nationals but nobody really plans for it,” Davis said. “Next thing you know, you’re in the playoffs and that situation becomes real. You then get into a scramble mode to fundraise for the team to go out there.

“It can be stressful.”

How far the Titans go in the tournament remains to be seen, but the experience and passion that the players share to represent Arizona well is something that Davis cherishes.

“We’ve always emphasized that football is a platform to shape and mold the lives of these kids,” Davis said. “It’s the things that kids learn that will carry on with them for the rest of their life.

“We have a lot of tough kids that want to represent the state well and they’re excited for it.”

The Titans continue to fundraise for their trip. The team hopes to raise $20,000.

They have set up a GoFundMe for any donations. For more information or to donate, visit www.gofundme.com/send-titans-to-florida.

Special to STSN

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