BY JONAH WOULLARD
One of football’s oldest arguments has been, no matter the level of play, “Who is truly the people’s champ?” Without a playoff system in place, every year on the collegiate level heated discussions stem from the BCS rankings on which two teams deserve to play for the national championship.
On the high school level, the argument has centered on the different high school classifications. For example; which high school team would bring home the championship if Miramar, Central, Booker T. & Norland all played one another for a championship?
When it comes to youth football, the argument has been two fold. The longest standing youth football argument has been that various teams can only win in their respective youth leagues. The majority of the youth football community felt that the champions from certain leagues could not compete with the champions from other leagues.
The second youth football discussion has been; who is truly the best team based on a pound for pound comparison? Since the structure of youth football is comprised of several different age and weight classes, it is an extremely valid argument.
With the Annual Crowning of the Champions Awards Ceremony quickly approaching, Generation Nexxt will crown the best of best in various categories; celebrating and recognizing the top coaching staffs, lifetime achievement award, most outstanding players at each age level, top teams, most dominate youth program, top plays, the overall top youth football player, the overall top team and so much more.
This year, we felt the prestigious award, “The Pound for Pound Top Youth Football Team”, should not simply be left up to the opinion of just the pound for pound power rankings, but truly should be determined by the youth football community at large. This year, you the coaches, players and fans will have your input on who should ultimately be crowned the 2011 top youth football team.
With that being said, we will list the various teams that have been nominated and we will also disclose the pros & cons discussions that have been presented for each team by the youth football community. We give you the facts and their records will make their case, but you the people will decide who should be crowned the people’s champs.
Generation Nexxt recently went out and hit the pavement and asked the youth football community their thoughts on who is truly the best youth football team, and why, and even better yet, why not?
Let’s kick off the discussion with the undefeated Florida City Razorbacks (Midgets-160lb.), 2011 Pop Warner National Champions. Led by Head Coach Curtis Dewberry, this particular Razorback team has put up gaudy numbers over that last three years. Winning three consecutive Greater Miami Pop Warner super bowls, three South East regional championships and two back to back Pop Warner National Championships, has definitely put this team in a class of its own, amassing a record of 49-1-1.
The People’s Pros: Florida City is a legendary team in its own right, accomplishing an undefeated season, winning the south east region, and capping of the season with another Pop Warner National Championship. The Razorbacks easily defeat the N.W. Raiders based out of Germantown Philadelphia, 28-0, claiming the Midgets (160’s) 2011 National Title.
The People’s Cons: Florida City has been limited to only play the Pop Warner teams. Playing or scrimmaging outside of Pop Warner is strictly prohibited by the Pop Warner organization. The consensus has been the most intense competition is right here in our own back yard. Earlier in the season the Razorbacks struggled against a Gwen Cherry Bulls’ team; with the score being tied 0-0 the majority of the game, Florida City scored their only touchdown with 4 minutes left in the game. Also, the Razorbacks squeezed out a win in the GMPW Super Bowl against a (5-4) Palmetto Raiders’ team, edging out a win in double overtime. The football community would have loved to see the Razorbacks face a team like the Miami Gardens Vikings 165’s for a heavy weight title match. Would you?
The People’s Pros: The undefeated Cowboys, led by Head Coach Chavis Wright, are three time, consecutive SFYFL Super Bowl Champs. The Cowboys have never shunned away from competition. The Cowboys just recently defeated a very talented Pop Warner, Florida City Razorback team. The Cowboys also defeated one of the AYFL’s top teams, the North East Rebels, in post season competition. The Cowboys are clearly the best 9U team in the land, and have often played up in age and still have always ended up victorious.
The People’s Cons: The Cowboys, at times seem to play down to their competition. Earlier this year, the Cowboys win a tight game against the Miami Garden Ravens, also pulled out a tight win against the Florida City Razorbacks in overtime. Are the close wins indicative of pound for pound, number one team?
The People’s Pros: The undefeated, Miami Gardens Vikings, led by Head Coach Todd Walker are the reining 2011 SFYFL 165 LB., back to back Super Bowl Champions. During the regular season, the Vikings outscored their opponents 326-50. Majority of the Vikings’ regular season games were mercy ruled by the third quarter of play. This past December, the Vikings faced the 175 LB. NYFL champions, the Washington Park Buccaneers and won convincingly, demonstrating that their dominance is not limited to the SFYFL. With the Vikings’ offense averaging 25 points a game, and the defense rarely yielding a touchdown, the Vikings have looked unstoppable all year.
The People’s Cons: It has been said, “The SFYFL 165 division was not as competitive as the years before.” The peoples’ opinion reflected that the Vikings looked very impressive against mediocre teams this year, and had not been truly tested. Do you feel the Vikings have faced a true test this year?
The People’s Pros: The undefeated Miami Gardens Ravens, led by Head Coach Rod Mack, has been one of the most dominate defensive teams in youth football. This squad has shut out nine of their twelve opponents in the 2011 SFYFL season. In this year’s Super Bowl, the Ravens defeated the Lauderdale Lakes Vikings to capture the 110 LB. Championship. The Ravens would go on to defeat the Pasadena Panthers in a high scoring, offensive shootout, then capped off their season with a big win over the Lake Stevens Cardinals in the Bowl Championship series.
The People‘s Cons: The Ravens’ offense seemed to struggle against some of the better competition in the SFYFL. Ravens won tight games against the Cowboys 6-0, Lauderhill Lions 6-0, and Lauderdale Lakes 3-0.
The People’s Pros: The (15-1) Packer Rattlers, led by Coach Mike Caldwell, arguably played the best football at the end of the year. The Rattlers dropped a game the second week of the season against the Lauderdale Lakes Vikings due to multiple starters not making weight. The Rattlers would later avenge that lost to the Vikings, defeating Lauderdale 35-6 in the third round of the playoffs. After that lost at the beginning of the season, the Rattlers outscored their opponents 339-34, posting 9 shutouts in 11 games. In the post season, the Packer Rattlers beat three of the best youth football teams, which were all previously undefeated in their respective leagues, showcasing their complete dominance in their age group. The “Cheese Heads” defeated the 120 lbs. Miami Cowboys (28-0), 135 lbs.PPO Bengals (12-6), and the 135 lbs. Kendall Hammocks Warriors (26-6).
The People’s Cons: Deerfield lost to a game in week two against a team that eventually took three losses in the season.
Now you have heard all the pros & cons for each team’s argument to be the crowned Youth Football’s Top Team, now it’s your opportunity to weigh in your opinion. Who is truly the people’s champ?
The Top Team will be presented with the Trophy on NBC6 at the red carpet event, at The Crowning of the Champions!