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2013 Opening Day JV Summary

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6th Grader Jabriel Johnson Gets in done for the Hamilton JV 6th Grader Jabriel Johnson Gets in done for the Hamilton JV

Week 1 April 21st @ Wilson HS
3950 Cheseapeake St. NW Washington, DC 20016

Fairfax County Colts
 0 HC Stars
44
Beacon House Falcons
25
Loudoun County Eagles
7
Gorc Wildcats
27 Marlboro Mustangs

0

Montgomery Village Chiefs  0 Hamilton Tigers 7

The opening launch of the GYFL Junior Varsity League took place on a beutiful Sunday afternoon in downtown NW Washington DC at scenic Woodrow Wilson High School.  Some of the top youth organizations with decades of history came together, along with some new organizations that are looking to make a name for themselves.

Legacy youth programs like the Beacon House Falcons, GORC Wildcats, Marlboro Mustangs, Montgomery Village Chiefs, and Hamilton Tiger brought considerable reputations into the league, while new programs like the Fairfax County Colts, the HC Stars, and the Loudoun County Eagles made their debuts.

Before we begin with the write ups and statistics, please allow me to address you all and give you the best possible understanding the purpose and vision for this Junior Varsity League.  There has been a bit of concern and controversy concerning the way the league is structured.  Many of you come from different youth organizations that have different rules regarding age and weight.  Some come from weighted football leagues, while others come from unlimited leagues.  Some leagues are grade based.  The GYFL Junior Varsity league is a combination of Unlimited weights and multiple ages.  Initially the desire was for the league to be primarily for 7th and 6th graders with certain exceptions for 8th graders, and for the most part that is still the case.  There has been some controversy regarding our decision to allow more 8th graders into the league than was originally anticipated. If any of you have any specific questions after reading this intro, please feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if this information needs more clarification for your.

Grassroots Philosophy and Goals:
Please give me a moment to share with you the framework behind every decision that we make regarding Grassroots direction.  It is important that you understand the reasoning behind why we started Grassroots in the first place.  Although we had no idea the different turns that it would take us in, such as doing a JV with current elite youth organizations, and having an elite fall league, the basic reasoning behind it remain the same and end up being the bedrock that we always fall back on when we have to make hard decisions.

In the end, our vision is to create a platform that will give each and every young athlete an opportunity to increase his chances of competing for a college scholarship.   Our vision and plans always start from the end game and work their way back to the present.  We always keep our eyes on the prize, which for us is not even college.  We all know a ton of folks who played football in college, or went to college that are not productive citizens who are self reliant and community responsible.  Some graduated and some didn’t, so just obtaining a degree is not the goal for us.

It may not make sense to you yet how all this applies to a youth football league, but I will tie it in quickly.  My desire is to be a part of the process of helping develop these young men into productive members of society who are contributors, husbands, fathers, and hopefully God fearing human beings that believe in giving back.  Making that spiritual connection is the most important part for us, but we also know how difficult it is for us in our own lives to make the connection and stay connected, so although we am trying to lay down roots through this league that will ultimately manifest itself in the spirit connection, that is not what our initial focus is for these young people in the Spring of 2013.

The first thing we want to help the young people focus on is putting themselves in position to be self-reliant so that they can take their rightful place in society and add to it when they become of age.  We believe that a college degree can play an important part in that process.  We know that many of our parents can’t afford to pay for college and many of our youth don’t understand the importance of college and don’t aspire to be educated. They aspire to be football players and want to play in college to audition for the pros. 

We believe that if we can increase their chances of getting to college, that most of them will at the very least do what needs to be done to remain eligible and if we all continue to apply pressure on them and have success in getting them to understand the value of education, many of them will graduate.  Having a degree from college, combined with the network that each college football player can tap into because of our nation’s obsession with football will give our babies the best chance to come into the real world at 22 and compete for a good job, which will help them become self-reliant.

If we can get them to college, teach them how to network with the alumni base by using the name brand that they will become, and get them a degree, they have a better chance to be successful in this world we live in.  That is our main goal.  Helping them get a head start in being successful in life.  How can a youth football league play a role in that?

Working backwards from that goal of success, we need to increase their chances of getting a college scholarship.  This is not about the GYFL for us.   It is not about youth football.  It is not even about High School football for us.   Each one of those levels are prerequisites to get to College and they are critical and important, but the decisions that we are making are all going to fall back on whether or not we believe a process is going to help prepare a kid to be successful at the youth club level, so they can be attractive to the right high schools.  Then I will want to process how I think a decision will help prepare a kid to be successful at the high school level so they can be attractive to colleges.  That is where Grassroots comes in.

That is the path for me and I created Grassroots to try to help youth club kids be prepared to dominate at the high school level, because they will have to be dominant at the HS level to get a college scholarship offer.  The are an average of 16,000 HS seniors in every class with the same desires of playing in college.  But, there will only be 60 of them getting Division 1 offers every year.  Between Division 1 and Division 2 schools, there are less than 100 offers from our region every year that will go to college for free. 

Our vision is to help those kids that want to be in the top 100 the best chance to distinguish themselves and to do that they have to be Great, not good football players.  They have to receive Great, not good coaching.  They have to play against Great, not good competition.  They have to receive Great, not good exposure.  Finally, they need to have a Great, not good political machine working on their behalf.  I believe that our league gives kids the best chance to become great football players because of the coaching, the competition, the exposure, and the politics. Grassroots has all of those ingredients.

So please put yourself into our mindset and our vision when you evaluate our decisions.  You may disagree with some or all of our thoughts, but I think you will better understand our positions if you understand our vision.  

I have thought long and hard about the grade concern that some have raised.  When I considered it under the framwork of the ultimate goal it became clear to me that we made the best decision.  If your child is going to be one of the few that will get a college scholarship offer, he is going to have to be a special football player.

Most of the special football players play varsity in the 9th or 10th grade at the latest.  When elite 9th graders play varsity, they are playing with kids that are in the 11th and 12th grade.  Same deal for 10th graders that make varsity.  I can assure you that when the college coaches are evaluating film and looking for talent, they are blow away by the 9th and 10th graders who compete with kids 2 and 3 years older than them, just as I am blown away by seeing 7th graders out there going toe to toe with 8th Graders. It is always the younger kids that stand out of to talent evaluators and those are the ones who will catch our eye and move to the top of our food chain.

Every great player that has played any sport will tell you that they get better by playing against kids older and better than them.  Having those experiences allow kids to DOMINATE their peer group and when they are being evaluated for High School financial aid offers and College Scholarships, and they will need to DOMINATE their peer group to make it to the top.  Playing with kids older and better will prepare the younger kids to do just that.  That was the thought process regarding the decision to set the league up the way it currently is and not alter the dynamic in response to the concerns.

Game #1 Fairfax County Colts vs HC Stars
The first game of the day what a tough one for all of us.  We could see from the size of the HC Stars that this was going to be a mismatch.  This was one of the games that caused us to go back and do serious analysis about whether to change the structure of the league initially to account for the differences in talent level.  The Stars had a number of 8th grade players that were good players, but not quite good enough to compete for playing time with the HC Stars Varsity team.  They met the age requirement that we had set forth in the rules and we allowed them to play because we did not want them to be excluded from the league.

The Stars have been able to overcome tremendous odds and do a great job of recruiting from all over the region and they are loaded at the Varsity level  Many of the other regions are facing tremendous obstacles and challenges in their regions that will be overcome with time, but in the meantime it is very difficult to recruit the level of talent that is typically in the GYFL.  The Fairfax County Colts have struggled with that dynamic for the first three years.  It was quite evident that this JV group did not have the numbers, the size, or the speed to contend with the Stars.

The Stars feature some players that will be true Stars at the next level.  Kids like Michael Toler, Kareem Wilson, Darius Harris, and Devin Hebron are tremendous athletes.  Zavier Williams has a tremendous upside, as does Dominic Leger.

The Stars rolled over the Colts by a big margin in this first game, promting us to consider dividing the league into 2 separate divisions based on talent level.  During the following week, the masses voted on the proposed change and decided to stick with the original league format.  Fairfax added a few more players to the roster to make them more competitive and came back the next week and were very competitive.


Players of the Game

Fairfax County: N/A
HC Stars: N/A


Game #2 DC Warriors vs Loudoun County Eagles
 
The DC Warriors used their athletic ability to jump out to a sizeable lead on the Loudoun County Eagles and never looked back.  The have a combination of speed and quickness that will be hard to handle in this league.  Loudoun County was impressive in their debut though.  Val Timoshenko was nothing short of amazing in his first game, breaking a 63 yard TD run and rushing for 109 yards on only 10 carries.  He also led the team in tackles for the Eagles.

Jermaine "Little OC" Johnson may be small in stature, but boy is he cat quick and lightning fast.   Warriors have a bevy of skilled and talented players on this roster.  Until we get the stats, we won't be able to recognize as many of them as we would like to right now, but believe me they can play.  They feature three QB's that can all throw the ball and the offensive line was very impressive. 

Loudoun has some of the biggest and most imposing young fellas that we have seen in some time.  Jacob Peace is a Mountain with great size and quick feet, but William Moore makes Peace look small.  LeRon West is a big time baller with projected Division 1 talent right now.

Players of the Game

DC Warriors: N/A
Loudoun County Eagles: Val Timoshenko

Loudoun County Eagles Game Statistics

Offense

Passing Comp Att Yards TD Int Sacks Fum
AJ Organ 1 6  16 0 0 0 0
Jalen Thomas 0 3  0 0 0 0 0

Total Passing:

1 9 16 0 0 0 0
               
Rushing Att Yards Avg. TD Fum

Val Timoshenko

10  109  10.9 1 0
Juan Castillo 13  17 1.3 0 0
Jalen Thomas 4  6 1.5 0 0
AJ Organ 4 -8 -2.0 0 0

Total Rushing:

31 124 4.0 1 0
           
Receiving Rec Yards Avg. TD Fum
LeRon West  1 16  16.0 0 0

Total Receiving:

 1 16 16.0  0 0

 

         
Offense Yards
Total Offense: 140

Loudoun County Eagles Game Statistics

Defense 

Name Tckl Sacks Int F Fum R Fum
Val Timoshenko 4  0 0 0 0
LeRon West 3  0 0 0 0
Chase Simmons 2  0 0 0 0
Alex Klimavicz 2  0 0 0 0
Cooper Vincent 2  0 0 0 0
Seth Whitehurst 1 0 0 0 0
Ben Gehl 1 0 0 0 0
Juan Castillo 1 0 0 0 1
Austin Green 1 0 0 0 0
Bryce McAlpine 1 0 0 0 1
Nick Yeganeh 1 0 0 0 0
Keegan McMahon 1 0 0 0 0

Total Defense

20 0 0 0 2


Game #3 Gorc Wildcats vs Marlboro Mustangs

The Wildcats rolled up on the Mustangs in this battle.  Carlos Pearman did a masterful job of orchestrating the offense with 97 yards passing and 1 TD.  Kevin Byrd is an absolute star in the making.  He rushed for 77 yards on the ground, 17 through the air, and he had 64 yards in returns.  He scored 3 TD's on the day.  DeaSean Winston flew high grabbing 3 receptions for 37 yards and a TD. 

The Gorc Defense was lead by Gereme Spraggins, Evan Oliver and William Oliver who combined for 18 tackles, 4 sacks, a forced fumble and a recovery.  The Gorc defense recorded 5 sacks, caused 2 fumbles and limited the Mustangs electrifying QB Stanton Askew to only 1 first down.  We expect the Mustangs to regroup and come back strong in week #2, but the first day belonged to the Wildcats.

There is talent on both teams.  Byrd just amazed us with his running ability, but his offensive line was equally impressive across the board.  On the Marlboro side, twins Brandon and Bryant Overton look like they have a chance to be special talents.  Tyrik Blount is as quick as a hiccup and will giv defenders fits trying to tackle him in the open field.  We expect Blount and Askew to hook up on some big time scoring plays before this seaso is over. 

Askew has excellent size and command of the huddle.  He didn't get a chance to show off his talent on this day, but we saw it on the 7th Grade FBU Team.  We like Judson Tallandier a lot and Amir "Pound for Pound" Jordan is a GYFL Favorite who has been with us since the 6th Grade PG Swarm team and has more heart than most 10 graders that we know.  We call him pound for pound because he is the toughest little football player we have seen in years and is pound for pound and gutsy as they come.

Players of the Game

Gorc Wildcats: Kevin Byrd
Marlboro Mustangs: N/A

Gorc Wildcats Game Statistics

Offense

Passing Comp Att Yards TD Int Sacks Fum
Carlos Pearman 6  10 97 1 0 0 0
Julius Chestnut 0 1 0 0 1 0 0

Total Passing:

6 11 97 1 1 0 0
               
Rushing Att Yards Avg. TD Fum
Kevin Byrd  6  77 12.8  2 0
Julius Chestnut  4  27 6.7  0 0
Gereme Spraggins  5  20 4.0  0 0
Carlos Pearman  5  12 2.4  0 0
Giovanni Charles  2  5 2.5  0 0
Total Rushing: 22 141 6.4  2 0
           
Receiving Rec Yards Avg. TD Fum
Dea Sean Winston  3  37 12.3 1 0
Dylan Finlay  1  40 40.0 0 0
Kevin Byrd  1  17  17.0 0 0
Olandis Gary  1 3 3.0 0 0

Total Receiving:

 6 97 16.1 1 0
           
Offense Yards
Total Offense:  238

Gorc Wildcats Game Statistics

Defense 

Name Tckl Sacks Int F Fum R Fum
Gereme Spraggins  10  3 0  1 1
Pete Manos 7  0 0  0 0
Donta Bush 5  0 0  0 0
William Oliver 5  0 0  0 0
Evan Oliver 3  1 0  0 0
Troy Garrett 3  0 0  0 0
Dea Sean Winston 3  0 0  0 0
Nathan Dillow 3  0 0  0 0
Gavin Johnson 2 1 0  0 0
Lamonte Garrison 2 0 0  1 0
Michael Holt 2 0 0  0 0
Ivah Tukpah 2 0 0  0 0
Andre Patterson 2 0 0  0 0
Spencer Anderson 1 0 0  0 0
Dylan Finlay 1 0 0  0 0
Joshua Stevenson 1 0 0  0 0
Bryan Bowes 1 0 0  0 0
 Total Defense:  53  5 0  2 1
           
Punt Returns Ret Yards Avg. TD Fum
           
Total Punt Returns:          
           
KO Returns Ret Yards Avg. TD Fum
Kevin Byrd  1  64  64.0 1  0
Total KO Returns: 1 64  64.0 1 0


Game #4  Montgomery Village Chiefs vs Hamilton Tigers

This was the type of game that Grassroots JV was created to generate.  The best going against the best.  The Hamilton Tigers have a storied reputation from Baltimore and they are notorious for having big kids that can flat out play. They did not disappoint came with a mob of talented players.

Montgomery Village, or MV as they are known in football circles has been a special program for quite some time.  Head Coach Darryl Redman Sr. and his staff take great pride in their preparation for every game.  Not to be outdone though is Coach Maurice Woody of MV, who has parlayed his considerable experience into an assistant coaching position at St. Johns High School.  These two fine coaching staffs were looking forward to a duel and that is exactly what they got.

Hamilton was victorious in a hard fought defensive battle that resulted in a 7 - 0 victory over the MV Chiefs.  The Tigers relied on shash mouth football and a balanced rushing attack led by Jamaine Jeter.  Jeter and his running mates pounded the ground game all day, as he pushed the ball across the goal line in the 4th quarter for the only score of the game.  The defense was leasd by Keeshon Martin who made several big tackles for losses.  The Defense as a unit completed the first shutout of the year.

Each team has standout players that caucht our eye.  As we wait for the final stats to come in so we can update the pages, just a few of teh players that really stood out for the Tigers were of course Jeter, who is literally a man-child that will remind you of a young Ricky Williams when he was at Texas.  Very powerfully built, and quick, as well as strong.  Very hard runner bone jarring LB with a future so bright he will need sunshades.  If he keeps developing and working hard, he is a Division 1 prospect waiting to happen.

He is not alone.  Zaywhon Johnson showed bursts of great speed and athleticism.  Tyler Woodard is a big, well put together QB with a strong arm and a tight spiral.  He has great potential as well.  We were impressed with Sean Pencock, who first made his name known by performing well at the combine and backed it up with pads on.  Jabriel Johnson was the star of the 6th Grade FBU team and was very impressive hitting the hole hard against 7th and 8th Graders.  Al Cornish is a mountain of a young man at 320lbs and a ton of talent to work with.

On the MV side, their QB Tyree Haynes is s run/pass threat who can make plays with his arm and feet.  Jaylen Lowry is a big TE/DE that looks like he is ready for HS football right now as a 7th grader.  Micah McNeil looks like he might be the next great skill player to come out of MV and they most certainly have a laundry list of those heading back to Stefon Diggs.  We look forward to seeing and evaluating all of these kids, as well as learning more about the other players on the roster that we haven't been able to evaluate yet.

Players of the Game

Montgomery Village Chiefs: N/A
Hamilton Tigers: Jamaine Jeter

Hamilton Tigers Game Statistics

Offense

Rushing Att Yards Avg. TD Fum
Jamaine Jeter 6  66  11.0  1 0
Jabriel Johnson 5  41  8.0  0  0
Josh Pugh 4 40 10 .0 0  0
Total Rushing: 15  147 9.8 0 0
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