Tacolcy’s Jr. Peewee Raiders prove they’re number one by bringing home the Pop Warner Super Bowl National Championship Trophy
The undefeated Raiders were able to make history due to community support
Submitted Isheka N. Harrison
MIAMI, FL – The 105 LB. Tacolcy Raiders rewarded the community’s faith in them when they defeated the Michigan City Wolves 30-13 on Dec. 7 and cinched the Pop Warner Super Bowl’s National Championship Title. It was a sweet homecoming for the team who might not have made the Orlando trip if it hadn’t been for an outpouring of community love and support.
The undefeated Raiders made history by completing a perfect season and becoming the first team in Tacolcy’s history to ever win a national championship. They dominated at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando by defeating three formidable opponents 32-0, 18-12 and 30-13 respectively.
The 105 LB. team is composed of 27 young men, ages 10-12, who have been playing together and working with the same coaches for three years. After being loyal and hard-working throughout the entire season, both the players and coaches were ecstatic to bring home the national trophy.
“I’m excited to win the national championship because we worked so hard, so to play and to win is a special thing,” said Seth McGill, the 12-year-old starting quarterback for the 105 LB. Raiders.
“I feel relieved that the community believed in us enough to make it possible for our players to go compete at the national level. To come home with the National Championship title is a huge accomplishment. I knew if we could just stick together over the years, this day would come,” said Derrick Britt, one of the coaches who has been with the Raiders for over three years.
The 105 LB Raiders originally captured the community’s heart in late November after local media began telling the heartwarming story of how the undefeated team had won a bid to nationals in Orlando, but did not have the funding to cover the cost of expenses.
Within a day, Tacolcy’s phones began ringing off the hook, emails flooded in, people began donating online and individuals kept stopping into the center to drop off donations. Ultimately over $19,000 in donations poured in, including a generous gift of $11,806.44 from Dade Medical College.
Tacolcy’s staff is brimming with excitement over their team’s first national super bowl win.
“This is an exciting time for Tacolcy. For many years we’ve been nurturing young athletes: teaching team building skills and discipline, always anticipating success and expecting greatness from them. Now after more than 30 years of building young leaders, the 2012 105 LB. team honored all of our hard work by becoming national champions. South Florida continues to be a breeding ground for NFL players and it is places like Tacolcy that nurture those seeds for greatness,” said Tacolcy CEO Alison Austin.
Tacolcy Athletic Director Cedric Hooper, agreed.
“I feel that this is a major milestone not just for the Sports Program but for Tacolcy as a whole. To have been able to accomplish what this team has done is nothing but God’s favor upon us,” said Hooper.
Ernesto Perez, President and CEO of Dade Medical College, said the Raiders win was ‘incredible’ and he was glad to support them because they are a paramount example of defying odds.
“We should constantly thrive to succeed and become the best we can be despite of perceived limitations or where we come from; not be a victim or statistic. The Tacolcy Raiders are not only an example of hard work and dedication but an example of what each and every one of us should strive to be,” Perez continued.
On Dec. 15, the championship Raiders participated in a community parade and official team recognition celebration at Tacolcy Park, in Miami.