Youth football teams aim high

At Play

AAYFA championship winners advance to state tournament, which kicks off tonight

November 29, 2006|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

The Anne Arundel Youth Football Association championships got a boost of atmosphere last weekend, with all seven games held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

More than 5,000 people attended at least some of the 12 hours of football, a turnout that pleased Joshua Roach, an athletic supervisor for Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks.

"It's the whole stadium atmosphere that's nice. It's a big-time college football stadium, and the kids really liked it. There was positive response from parents, players and coaches." Roach said that the organization would love to hold the title games in Annapolis again next year.

AAYFA and county recreation officials wanted to do something different with the A Division championship games, which were previously played at Arundel High School.

The B-level championships stayed there. Those kickoffs were joined by the newest title game, for 65-pound players, with Gambrills-Odenton Recreation Council Wildcats winning.

On Saturday, the Severn Athletic Club fared well at first. Severn edged the Pasadena Chargers, 12-6, in the 75-pound title game. In the 85-pound championship, Severn pulled out a 13-7 victory over the Chesapeake Bay Piranhas.

The GORC Wildcats ended that streak with a 31-7 rout of the Rivera Beach Bucs in the 95-pound championship. It was the first of three GORC championships on the day.

The Wildcats' Devin Salisbury ran for 272 yards on 13 carries, posting three long touchdowns. Salisbury found similar success during the season, averaging about 150 yards per game.

Diandre Wallace helped with a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown, and Syeed Mahdi pitched in with a 50-yard touchdown run.

"We definitely want to run the football, and he ran the football very well," coach Rick Peacock said.

GORC performed just as well in the 105-pound title game, blanking Cape St. Claire, 14-0. Daveon Waters scored the team's first touchdown while Evan Jones got the other one to help GORC finish with a record of 11-1-1.

"It's been a great season for [GORC]," said Dwain Jones, assistant coach for GORC's 105-pound team. "The credit has to go to the coaches who put in all the time and effort and dedication to the program."

The Gridiron Rebels had little trouble in the 120-pound championship with a 33-0 victory over Severn, the club's lone loss of the day.

The Pasadena Chargers won their only championship at 135 pounds, shutting out the South River Gators, 14-0.

GORC got its third title in the final game of the night, the 160- pound contest. The Wildcats came away with a 16-6 victory over Cape St. Claire in the battle between two coaches making their initial appearance in a championship game. Brian Bayne's Wildcats got revenge against Mike Bullock's team, which beat GORC earlier in the season.

All teams in each division played a nine-game regular season plus a possible three-game playoff schedule if they made the finals. Each weight class, except for the 65- and 160-pounders, now moves on to the initial Maryland Invitational Tournament, which is offering matchups in a limited number of divisions.

It starts tonight with semifinal games, followed by the championship battles this weekend at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.

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