Youth football: Pair of Bobcats teams prep for nationals
The West Orange 14U and 8U teams will compete against some of the best teams around the country next weekend in Davenport.
| 2:04 p.m. December 8, 2016
Two teams from the West Orange Bobcats youth football organization will be competing for national championships in their respective age groups Dec. 15-18 in Davenport.
The Bobcats’ 14U and 8U teams lost one game, combined, in the regular season and will get a chance to show what they can do at the 2016 AAU Tackle Football League Based Nationals.
The 8U team, coached by Danny Glover, went undefeated in the regular season (8-0) before eventually losing in the Florida Youth Football and Cheer League Playoffs, though they still qualified for Nationals.
“We play for each other — there are a lot of kids that are new to (football), and they believe in each other and the next person that’s out on the field,” Glover said of his team. “They did a really good job of just being able to work together on the field.”
The 14U team, coached by Steve Stutsman, went 7-1 during the regular season and lost in the second round of the playoffs to Apopka, making for a combined record of 8-2 so far this season.
“We never quit — both our losses came down to the final second,” Stutsman said. “It’s kind of been the whole theme for the season: teamwork and never quit.”
Both teams will face stiff challenges against some of the best teams from around the country. Glover said it will be important for his boys to focus on what they can control.
“We’re going to have to come out the same — just being able to play our game and not worry about who we are facing,” Glover said.
Stutsman said his team will have to continue to avoid mistakes — as it did during the regular season — at the national competition, which features five-minute quarters.
“We do a multitude of things and give a lot of different looks on offense, and on defense, we fly to the ball,” Stutsman said. “You can’t have mistakes.”
Wildcats JV ends season at Southeast Regional
The West Orange Wildcats Junior Varsity team, which competes in Pop Warner Football, saw an impressive season come to an end at the Southeast Region Championship Game Nov. 26.
The Wildcats were defeated by the Riviera Beach Charges, 31-0, in the Division II JV Championship for the Southeast United States.
Previously, the team of local boys had won the Mid-Florida Pop Warner Championship.