Source: Valley Roadrunner

VC Pop Warner Jr. Midget team had a season to remember

May 22, 2013

The 2012 Valley Center Pop Warner Junior Midget Attacking Jaguars wrapped up their season on Dec. 1 by winning the "Best of the West" championship game in San Jose against the Wolfpack of Reno, Nevada.

The Junior Midget team is comprised of kids in the seventh and eighth grade. For some of the players on the team this was their last game of their Pop Warner careers. For the seventh graders, a large number will be back next year for another run for the West Cost title game.

The Jr. Midget team worked very hard all season long to keep themselves eligible for this prestigious game between the best teams in Division III play for the Western Conference Region. All season the team displayed the drive, discipline and skill it takes to vie for the honor to represent the Palomar Conference in the Best of the West title games held in San Jose. Winning the Palomar conference Divison III title was just a small part of what it took to make it possible for the team to play for the "Best of the West" title.

The team had to play a Division II team a week after their divisional win against Rancho Penasquitos.

After the win, the team was faced with another challenge in getting the team to San Jose for the title game. Team mom Astral Ream got to work right away with getting the parents together to begin the task of raising funds to make the long trip up the coast possible. With just a little under three weeks from the time the team won their conference qualifier until the time they would compete for the west coast title, the team had to act fast to get the funds needed to help defray the costs associated with taking 22 players up to compete.

With a lot of hard work and dedicated parents, the team raised the funds needed to pay for their hotel stay, food, and a little bit of gas for all who drove the players up to the Santa Clara Marriot. Pop Warner had negotiated a special rate with the Marriot for all Pop Warner teams participating that helped in ensuring that the trip was affordable and attainable for the teams that competed for their respective level of play.

The Jr. Midget team is very grateful for all the donations from the local community. From the San Pasqual Tribe giving a generous donation to offset lodging costs, to the multiple businesses in VC and out of the area, their consideration and generous sponsorships were so critical in making this trip a possibility. Without their help the trip could not have been made. So the team wishes to say thank you for believing in them.

While at the championship game the team was able to spend time together as a team and view tape one last time and solidify their bonds that were created all season. The morning before the game, they were treated to a bus ride from the hotel to the stadium where the game was to be held. Thanks to the Pee Wee team who was also competing at their level for the Best of the West title, they shared the bus that they had chartered for their team with the Jr. Midget team.

The entire day (and trip for that matter) had the feel of a college team that was playing out of town. It was a very special day for the boys and their families and a memory that all in attendance will never forget. The Jr. Midget team also wishes to congratulate the Pee Wee team of Valley Center in their come-from-behind win. We are very proud of you guys!

After the big win, the Jr. Midget team had a chance to unwind as a team and they all took to swimming at the hotel before they had their final team party of the year. With a wonderful Italian dinner in one of the conference rooms at the hotel, Coach McCowan had a chance to thank all that were involved in making the season such a successful one. He also took the opportunity to pass out individual trophies of participation from the season. The Jr. Midget team was honored to represent Valley Center and the Palomar conference. It was a special trip for all who were involved. A special thanks to all the parents who had the dedication and energy to complete the season and finish so strong. For some players on the team this was their last game in Pop Warner, and for their final game to conclude with a trip of this magnitude and the way the team played, it couldn't have ended in a better way. For the younger ones, they know what they can look forward to and that ending their Pop Warner career in the same fashion would be an event they would cherish for a lifetime.

The coaches, the team and the parents wish to thank the following sponsors: (in alphabetical order) Dr. Joyce—VC Optometry, Dr. Vertees, Dave Herrera, Joe’s Pet & Feed Store, KidFit USA, Pala Store—King Freeman, Pala Vista Gas, Pauma Tribe, Portino’s, PRMG Residential Lending, San Pasqual Tribe, Stage Stop & Liquor, and VC Sports & Apparel.

Without their generosity and support this game would not have been possible to attend. GO VCPW teams of 2013!