Last year around this time, we covered the exploits of the Kingsway Youth Football Association’s sophomore team, which won their third consecutive Tri-County Midget Football League championship. There was not much more that they could have done for an encore.
Well, the players in the Kingsway Youth Football Association found a way.
This year, the freshman coached by Mike Varallo, sophomore coached by Bob Bradley, and junior team coached by Bert Brucker, all made it to the league championship games after each winning their respective divisions. While the freshmen team was defeated by nationally ranked Millville, 26-0, the sophomores defeated Millville 13-7, and junior team also defeated Millville 12-6.
This feeder program for the Kingsway Regional High School football team has been teaching the game of football to students for years. The league, comprised of kids ages 6 to 14, has four divisions, as well as a Pee Wee instructional team for kids ages 4 to 5.
For the sophomore team, this marks their third consecutive championship win. They are ranked as the top rated sophomore team in New Jersey and the ninth ranked team in the United States. As a result of their play this season, they were invited to compete in the National Prep and Youth Football Association Mid-Atlantic National Championship.
In their quarterfinal game, they dismantled the Outsidaz (PA) 43-0. Then, in the semifinal round, they won against the Yellow Jackets (VA) in a hard fought game 7-6. In the championship game, the Dragons were up against the York (PA) Bears who were ranked seventh in the nation. Overcoming the doubters, they were able to overcome the Bears 7-6 in overtime to bring the championship back to South Jersey.
“Both teams battled,” said Bradley. “We got the ball first in the overtime. Four plays in, we found the end zone with a screen pass to (his son) Nathan who broke a tackle to get in. Then, on defense, Luke Hyland and Tristan McLeer caused a fumble, and it was recovered by us.”
“I’m so proud of them, having been with them since they were four years old,” said Bradley. “It doesn’t matter who is ranked or who is bigger. They have big hearts. They worry about what we do as Dragons and leave it all out there every day. They very much wanted to get the title and bring it back to Jersey.”
“Kingsway Youth Football is a dedicated organization that I am proud to be associated with,” says Carrie Pasquarello, a parent and Kingsway Youth Football board trustee. “The boys, parents, and coaches from all levels are invested in the program completely, from volunteering, being at all the games, to practicing four nights a week from the beginning of August until the end of November.”
“The season was fantastic for our organization as we had three levels win their division,” Pasquarello continued. “The players are growing and learning the sport of football. More importantly, you are excited to do it.”
“The kids played with passion and toughness,” gushed Bradley. “We have an incredible staff that worked together. It was one of the best feelings as a coach. It was emotional.”
What will do next to follow up this remarkable success? Stay tuned….”