‘Super Bowl’ champions!

Published 10:37 am Thursday, December 7, 2023

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On a thrilling Saturday, November 18, a triumphant moment was carved into Gates County’s history. The Gates County Hurricanes’ Under-12 team claimed a stunning 30 – 12 victory against the Edenton Tigers at Hertford County High School. This triumph procured them the coveted Albemarle Youth Football League Super Bowl title.

“The Hurricanes are now the 2023 victors! Regardless of the outcome of the game, the crucial takeaways I want the players to grasp from this journey are committed effort, rooted fundamentals, and the importance of being amenable to coaching,” said head coach Justin Powell.

Labeling this triumphant season as “three years in the making, Powell said he and the other coaches were certain about the unique potential of this team last year when they made the Super Bowl.

“That loss nurtured them into true football players,” said assistant coach Robert Paris. “This season commenced on shaky grounds, but soon our players began to embody the principles of Effort, Attitude, and Toughness (E.A.T.) that we impart in them.”

Founded with the purpose of fostering football skills four decades ago, the Gates County Hurricanes Youth Football League has contributed significantly to molding its participants into skillful athletes and balanced individuals. Teaching its members key life skills, encouraging a healthy way of life, and offering life lessons that thrive beyond the football field have been the cornerstone of this league.

Though initially starting with low participation, the Hurricanes showcased resilience and determination, with players stepping up to play in less desired positions and welcoming newcomers unacquainted with the Hurricanes program. Nevertheless, with a nice core coming up from 10U, visions of a championship were alive.

The initial games resulted in losses. Once “E.A.T.” was fully embraced by the team, increased efforts in practice reflected on the field, transfiguring the players into formidable players, and eventually, a unified team. An uphill battle against injuries was successfully managed, ensuring all players were physically ready for the championship game.

“Our Hurricane initiative goes beyond the confines of football,” said Mike Chlomoudis, a parent of a team member. “It is a community built on acceptance, support, discipline, culture, and family. We’ve been fortunate in having a young group of players receptive to this philosophy, playing for each other, and growing into a championship-quality team.”

The Hurricane program accentuates the valuable role of youth sports in nurturing the holistic development of children, promoting their physical, mental, and social growth, concentrating on the cultivation of discipline, teamwork, and resilience. Through early involvement in sports, children can benefit immensely.

A thunderous applause to the Albemarle Youth League Under-12 Super Bowl Champions, the Gates County Hurricanes!