Caroline Cougars repeat as regional champions - The Star Democrat - Easton, Maryland: From TheBleachers | David Insley
Youth Football Caroline Cougars repeat as regional champions Team posts back-to-back shutouts to cap second straight Eastern Division III title Caroline Cougars win Regional Pop Warner Title After winning the 2012 Eastern Regional Pop Warner football title, the Caroline Cougars Junior Pee Wee team had the unenviable task of defending it this year — in a higher
age bracket, since the bulk of the team would have to play as Pee Wees. Mission accomplished. Not bad considering, “this season almost did not happen,” coach Shane Hillard said. “Earlier in the year, Bayside Pop Warner voted to eliminate the Pee Wee division and go with the Junior Midget Division,” Hillard said. “In light of that decision, we were going to (lose) approximately 17 of the 28 boys from the 2012 Junior Pee Wee team due to age and weight issues. “This decision also affected other levels in our organization, such as our Unlimited Division, which we could not successfully field this season,” Hillard added. “We needed to find away to keep these young men in our program and most importantly in football — since this is one thing they live and breathe. So one day at a youth league lacrosse practice on the back fields at North Caroline High, myself and a couple of coaches came up with the idea of fielding a Pee Wee team and playing in the Henlopen (Del.) League.” Such a plan needed the approval of the president of their current conference — the Bayside’s Bruce Hancock. He gave it the go-ahead. Next, Caroline needed the blessing of the new league. “Henlopen Pop Warner president Harry Hudson had no issues with it and actually welcomes the idea since some of his association were struggling to field teams. (Eventually) the Eastern Region approved the idea,” Hillard said. “The next hurdle was to figure out how to incorporate us into their schedule. After several months of trying to put together teams and schedules, the decision was made that we would be assigned (to) the Delmar (Del.) Wildcats. “They could field only two levels (Mitey Mites and Junior Pee Wee), so we were the Pee Wee team for the season,” Hillard said. “We were placed on their schedule and played where they played.” The Cougars made it count, going 7-1 during the regular season with four shutouts — and ending the year with back-to-back blankings of a combined squad from Smyrna/Clayton, and then Laurel. In the first round of regional playoffs, the Cougars defeated Sussex Central 14-7, then played the only team that defeated them during the season — Woodbridge, 13-8 winners in Week 3. Caroline toppled Woodbridge 12-0 to reach regionals at Malcolm X. Shabazz High, in Newark, N.J. The Cougars played the Irondequoit Scream’n Eagles, from Rochester, N.Y. And just as they had done to cap the egular season, the Cougars posted a second straight shutout to take the Division III Regional crown, winning 14-0. “We did very well,” Hillard said, “(and) we had more competition at the Pee Wee level than we did at the Junior Pee Wee level. Of course, last year we had an awesome team; it was one of those teams you’d never see again. “But we put together a team this year and managed to replace some players we lost,” Hillard added. “And the fundraising we did the last two years really helped us out. Last year for example, we were supposed to play our regional playoffs in New Jersey, but ee had to play in Pennsylvania because everything in New Jersey was destroyed by (Super Storm) Sandy. ... The fundraising helped us cover three weekends of hotel rooms, and that came to around $13,000.” “Sandy also wiped out our Bayside championship game, but since we were undefeated, we were declared the champs,” Hillard added. “They canceled the game because of the storm.” Caroline consists of players De’Mere Addison, Ryan Bauer, Nicholas Belay, Jared Borawski, Nicholas Bosley, Dylan Bunce, Tyler Cook, Matthew Good, Michael Harmon, Hunter Healey, Trenton Hillard, Nathan King, Frank Kirby, James LaClair, William Manship, Reilly McIntyre, Cameron Muir, Colton Muir, Ja’Quan Murra, Rhian Silsley, Luke Stehle, Tucker Stevens, Jody Ward and Tynez Warner; coaches Shane Hillard, Keith Bauer, Jody Ward, Vince Manship, James McIntyre and Daryl Silsley; the squad was ably supported by team moms Tracy Ward and Ginny Belay. The Pee Wee Division includes kids ages 9-11, weighing 80 to 120 pounds, as well as “older-lighter” 12-year-olds who top out at 100 pounds.
For more information on the Caroline Cougars Pop Warner Football program, visit www.carolinecougars.com.
Pictured are, from left (back row): assistant coach Daryl Silsley, assistant coach James McIntyre, assistant coach Jody Ward, Ja’Quan Murray, coach Shane Hillard, Jared Borawski, assistant coach Keith Bauer, assistant coach Vince Manship; (middle row) De’Mere Addison; Dylan Bunce; Jody Ward; Hunter Healey; Tynez Warner; Tyler Cook; Nathan King; Nick Belay; Rhian
Silsley; Luke Stehle; Frank Kirby; (front row) Tucker Stevens; Nick Bosley; Will Manship; Wyatt LaClair; Cameron Muir; Colton Muir; Reilly McIntyre; Michael Harmon; Matt Good; Trenton Hillard; Ryan Bauer.
Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
11:00 am |
By DAVID INSLEY firstname.lastname@example.org