Marysville Wolverines win arena football title
August 28, 2008 · Updated 11:55 AM
EVERETT As coach for both fall football teams and the Marysville Wolverines, Dan White said he prefers strategizing for the offense-oriented Arena Youth Football League Wolverines.
I think its a lot more fun. I think its more fun trying to strategize for arena football. Its dominated by offense. We would never throw the ball in fall football nearly as much as we do in arena football, White said. But the rules in arena give offense the advantage.
White and his team used the arena football rules to their advantage all the way to the AYFLs June 9 championship game against the Arlington A-Town Brawlers, defeating the Brawlers 57-33 for the young leagues second-ever title.
Arlington came into the game as something of a Cinderella story, beating an undefeated Lake Stevens team the week before in semifinals to qualify for the championship game.
Marysville scored on their first possession to take a 7-0 lead, but Arlington answered, keeping up with the Wolverines on the way to a 19-19 score midway through the second quarter.
Marysville scored again on the ensuing drive, but on the next kickoff, the tide began to turn against the Brawlers.
The Wolverines recovered the kickoff for another score to close the half, putting Arlington at a 31-19 disadvantage going into the second half. In the second half, White explained, Arlington committed several turnovers and Marysville used them to their advantage.
The Wolverines scored on all nine of their possessions.
Our quarterback, Justin Peterson, had three touchdown passes. He ran for a touchdown as well, White said. He had just a really good game.
Running back Ricky Gordon, who also lined up on defense, contributed two rushing touchdowns for the Wolverines.
Our wide receiver, Anthony White, had six receptions and three touchdown catches, White added.
In only its second season, the AYFL saw a great deal of expansion from the four teams that played in the leagues inaugural year. During the 2006 season, the league was composed of players ranging in age from 11 to 13 or 14 competing against each other.
In 2007, the league divided athletes by age into junior and senior leagues. The championship Wolverine team accumulated an 8-2 record against five other teams to take the junior league title.
White said the sports growing local and national popularity makes it likely the league will expand again next year.
I know next year the plans are to increase the divisions to have eight teams, he said. There are some programs down in Kirkland and Bellevue that are interested in participating.
The leagues growth also bodes well for the players who didnt make the cut this year. Unlike fall football programs, which tend to be no-cut teams, the arena league holds tryouts. The result is a more intense game and a higher caliber of competition.
It was a blast. I have a number of kids on my team who said after playing on arena that they liked playing it better than fall football, White said.