Log In

Reset Password
Pine River Times Pine River Times opinion Pine River Times news Pine River Times sports

Fifth-graders win YAFL championship

Wolverines defeat Aztec 19-6
The Bayfield fifth-grade Young American Football League team celebrates Saturday in Bloomfield after winning their second Super Bowl trophy in three years.

Not only have they played in three youth Super Bowls in three years for the Four Corners Young American Football League, the Bayfield fifth-grade team has now won two of those championship games.

On Saturday, Bayfield fifth graders defeated Aztec 19-6.

"They played awesome," said head coach Justin Ross. "It was a great time."

Bayfield led the entire game, although the Aztec team did cause some consternation for Bayfield fans in the first series of the game when they marched the ball down the field in a series of plays.

Bayfield's Tyler Harriman made a tackle from behind to stop the Aztec gain, then the momentum shifted.

"The defense stopped them," Ross said. Bayfield scored the first touchdown of the game when Tavian Box ran a sweep in, and it was 6-0 at the halftime.

In the second half, the Wolverines drove the ball down and Zayden Cundiff ran in to score another touchdown, and the extra point was good.

In the last score of the game for Bayfield, quarterback Rance Rathjen threw a long pass to Kyle Russell, who caught it for the touchdown.

"It was a fantastic pass," Ross said. "Kyle ran a great route."

But as the saying goes, offense sells tickets, and defense wins championships, and that was no exception for Bayfield.

"Our defense played like they have all year," Ross said. "They were really disciplined."

Daemon Christner stripped the ball away from one Aztec player, "and he was a blocking machine. He opened up holes for all of our players." On the offensive line, Christner also excelled as well, knocking a couple of Aztec defenders on their backs.

While he didn't score, Caedon Schneider had several big runs for the team, gaining needed yardage for the offense. "He ran the ball really good," Ross added.

This team defeated Aztec for the third grade Super Bowl title, then lost to Aztec in the fourth grade championships.

Next year as sixth graders, this team will play in its final year of YAFL, then middle school football starts in seventh and eighth grades.

Ross said he likes coaching youth football because of the team aspect of the sport.

"In life, you're not going to be a success on your own," he said. "There are people who work alongside you, and you get that camaraderie, and you have to work together." Like many sports and youth activities, "football teachers hard work," Ross added. "They had to earn that championship, it didn't just happen."

Reader Comments