Sports

Arlington youth football captures senior division title

While coach Jim Welton congratulates his team, it seems all eyes on the trophy. - Photo courtesy AKAASH SAINI
While coach Jim Welton congratulates his team, it seems all eyes on the trophy.
— image credit: Photo courtesy AKAASH SAINI

MOUNT VERNON — Arlington Youth Football’s first senior league championship was sweet for some and expected by all.

The Arlington Eagles senior league, boys age 13 and 14, captured the championship Nov. 9 against second-ranked Bellingham, beating them 16-6.

The top-ranked Eagles had steamrolled their opponents getting to this point, but couldn’t get the offense going at times. Blitzes by the Bellingham defenders made getting passes off difficult and the running game was getting shut down.

But as time went on, it was the Arlington defense that kept the Eagles in the game, creating turnovers when Bellingham was in the red zone over three times. Eventually the offense began to click, gaining yards off deep passes, which resulted in scoring drives.

These two teams met in the regular season, both with perfect records going into the game. Bellingham lost that game as well, 36-14, which became their only loss of the season. Arlington proved in the championship the previous win was no fluke.

Eagles coach Jim Welton has been a part of many great teams throughout the years, but he felt this year’s squad has had more heart then any team he’s coached before. The group of eighth-graders who can’t wait to enter high school football next fall have played with each other since they were seven years old.

Welton later addressed his team stating, “This is Arlington’s first championship in the senior league, but it won’t be the last. Although the score was not what I wanted it to be, it was the way I expected us to play and win.”

He added, “These kids played their hearts out. Arlington Youth Football is a top-notch program with great coaches and superb parent support.”

More info on the team can be obtained through Arlington Youth Football’s website ayfaeagles.org.

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