One team won its second straight championship. Another rolled through the season with incredible defensive dominance.
The Jr. Warriors youth football program in New Lenox has become quite the force, with this year its Lightweight and Super Lightweight teams both winning the Super Bowl.
Players and coaches from the programs were recognized at the Dec. 17 Village Board meeting.
"We are going to have a high school dynasty," trustee Dave Smith said.
"With all due respect to Lincoln-Way, I think the Bears could use these kids," trustee Nancy Dye said.
Mayor Tim Baldermann praised the coaches and parents for their work to create good football players, but also good people.
"More importantly, we know you are helping these guys become fine young men as well," he said.
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Lightweight Jr. Warriors
Record: 11-0, and they didn't give up a single point all season. "That's just unheard of," Baldermann said. "It's crazy." Indeed, it's the first time any River Valley team of any level has accomplished that dominance.
Team Motto: "I will not let you down."
Coaches: Head coach Phil Pfeifer, offensive coordinator Rick Pedigo, defensive coordinator Matt Soraghan, assistant coaches Bill Dozier, Rich LaCien, Brent LaRue, Dean Rudsinski, Ray Tuminello and Brian Watta, and team mom Stacy Pfeifer.
Roster: Keagan Bobbitt, Brett Carberry, Gabe Cole, Joe Costello, Billy Dozier, Jackson Ferree, Jack Forman, Zach Gouty, Nick Hildebrand, TJ Hincks, Mitch Klee, Rich LaCien, Nolan LaRue, Johnny Latek, Ryan Leen, Eli Leonard, Devin Lynch, Ryan Manikowski, Jimmy Marchert, Caleb Marconi, Conner McWilliams, Reese Niemeier, Caden O'Connor, Jack Pedigo, Brock Pfeifer, Max Pfeifer, Rocco Probst, Devin Redmond, Mitch Rudinski, Gus Ruiz, Dominic Sherman, Dannay Soraghan, Coling Stang, Zach Steffek, Max Timmerman, Carson Vetor, Matt Wallace, Logan Watta, Owen Wolcott and Evan Wydajewski.
Super Lightweight Jr. Warriors
Record: 11-1, avenging their only loss of the season in the semifinals, and always fought hard, with four come-from-behind victories.
The first team in New Lenox Youth Football history to win back-to-back super bowls, and they did it without any returning starters. More than half of the kids on the team were new to the program.
Team motto: "Respect All, Fear None," and the coaches gave Baldermann a T-shirt with the motto.
Coaches: Head coach Tom Hinks, offensive coordinator Kevin McWilliams, defensive coordinator Mike Lynch, assistant coaches Sean Barry, Alan Burkel, Scott Gouty, Sean Javanaugh, Mike Kulinski and Reed Steffek, and team mom Nicole Barry.
Roster: Will Abell, Patrick Barry, Cooper Burkel, Jacob Cole, Dominic Evans, Jack Flaherty, Colin Forman, Benjamin Gouty, Presley Green, Moose Guillaume, Jacob Hamilton, William Hinchliffe, Jake Hincks, Gavin Hynes, Zachary Kapanowski, Quinn Kavanaugh, Tommy Kulinski, Jack Ladd, Jack Latek, Noah Leonard, Jimmy Lynch, Ethan Lynch, Brandon Manikowski, Colin McWilliams, Giovanni Oriente, Tre Phillips, Lucas Proudfoot, RP Sargent, Dominic Saso, Nicholas Sereleas, Anthony Sherman, Jacob Steffek, Collin Taylor, Diego Telez, Alejandro Telez, Zach Thompson, Andrew Tomaszewski, Jake Troy, Colin Vetor, Ryan Willis, Henry Woods, Justin Woods and Sam Yelnick.