A couple of scoring notes from the first few days of the Pop Warner Super Bowl
-- Defenses are winning. There were eight games on Saturday, and four of them were shutouts. There were six more shutouts on Sunday, including a tight 6-0 game between the New Haven (CT) Steelers and the Santa Margarita (CA) Mustangs. And of the four early games on Tuesday? Three of them were shutouts.
-- The most thrilling game so far might be Saturday's showdown between the Edgewood (TX) Seminoles and the Kernersville (NC) Raiders. The Raiders had an 18-6 lead at halftime but the Seminoles stormed back, scoring two second-half touchdowns and winning, 22-18.
-- The high score so far was turned in by the Division I Junior Midget White Oak (MD) Warriors. The Warriors are no strangers to the Pop Warner Super Bowl and they're once again proving to be one of the nation's best. They won their opening game, 40-6.
This is interesting article from the Star-Ledger in New Jersey on Pop Warner football, particularly for the 14- and 15-year olds who are still young enough to play Pop Warner but definitely old enough to play high school football, too.
Some schools in New Jersey have been forced to discontinue freshman football teams because so many players are sticking with Pop Warner in their early high school careers. The reasons? A strong loyalty to their coach and a chance to travel to Orlando and play in the Super Bowl.
This has forced some high school coaches to "recruit" players in their own boundaries to try to woo them from Pop Warner to high school football.
The Pop Warner coaches interviewed by the Star-Ledger says they encourage players to go play high school football when it's time. But they also welcome them if circumstances make high school football undesirable (like potential playing time).
It's an interesting debate. With nothing like AAU basketball or club soccer competing with high schools, you assume that high school football has a monopoly on 14- to 18-year old players. But that's not exactly the case.
The Pop Warner Super Bowl is ready to roll. The regional competitions have wrapped up and some 350 teams will head to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to take part in the national competition. That includes 64 football teams, 250 cheerleading squads and 40 dance squads.
Is your community represented?
The list is long but there's a chance your town is somewhere on it. Check out these links to see the complete list of teams heading to the Disney Wide World of Sports to compete.
Be sure to bookmark this blog, as we will keep a pulse on all the action in Florida and let you know how things are shaking out for the thousands of athletes fortunate enough to participate. The games begin on Dec. 5!