As I’ve always done, I’m sharing our on the field game results.
We participated in the Badlands Youth Football Tournament held in Rapid City, South Dakota. This is an absolutely beautiful area of the US, with Mount Rushmore, Caverns, State parks, hiking and countless tourist attractions. Whenever we travel, we look for: family attractions, history, distance, facilities and reputation of the tournament host. We travel to bond as a team and to play competitive football.
For us, this had it all. This was a great family area with lots to do for all tastes. We got to play at the South Dakota School of Mines in a very nice stadium with field turf. I had done a coaches clinic in Rapid City 2 years ago and was impressed with the area and the tournament’s leadership. This was a small tournament, only the best teams in the area signed up to play with 20 teams total from Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
The rules are never the same when you play in these things, so you adapt. Their running back weight was 120, ours is 85. They allow 5th grade older lighters to play who weigh less than 90 lbs. We don’t really have an older/lighter rule, because our rule is 60 lbs and I’ve never had a 5th grader who weighed less than 60.
My team won game 1 41-13 over the Wyoming Outlaws. We opened up a 12-0 first quarter lead. The first team offense scored on every possession. The first team defense didn’t give up a score, but gave up a couple of nice gains on some nice bubble and rocket screen plays. We didn’t have any fumbles or turnovers. We had 1 mix up on a single snap, where our Center snapped to the wrong player, but we scooped the ball and avoided the turnover. We had 3 penalties and subbed really well. Our Offensive Line played pretty aggressively, with our weakest starting Lineman playing really well. He had 4 pancake blocks. This team had more speed than us at their skill spots, but they didn’t utilize it well. I was very pleased how we gang tackled their big running backs. The defense is improving.
We won game 2 over the South Dakota Rams by a score of 30-8. We scored the first 4 times we had the ball to open a 24-0 lead, but then kind of got into a bit of a funk. We were subbing heavily and lost a little of our aggressiveness. Of course this was also a 9:00 am game and we had a big swimming party the night before, so could have been some of that as well. It happens when you travel. We did have 1 bad snap that didn’t lead to a turnover. We suffered our first turnover of the season. One of our backs was stripped as he was in the pile. We also threw our first interception of the season. We got to play a little against my own offense as this programs coaches had attended my clinic and ran a few of our plays. This team was on a whole both bigger and faster than us and didn’t make a lot of mistakes. They have been very successful as a program in this league.
I also took both of my 5-6 grade teams. They all won their 4 games handily. One of our teams beat a local team that hadn’t lost in 3 years. We came back from an 8-0 deficit to win 34-8. Nice tournament, great people, beautiful area.