Gold Jackets, Steelers, Jets are Rotary Bowl champs
On Saturday, there was a clash at Lions Field, albeit in pint-sized form.
The 33rd annual Rotary Bowl came and went, and crowned three new champions in three age groups. The A-League featured the 11- and 12-year-old Black Jackets, White Jackets, Gold Jackets and Yellow Jackets. The B-League consisted of the 9- and 10-year-old Cowboys, Jets, Vikings, Patriots and Steelers. Finally, the C-League was made up of the 7- and 8-year-old Jets, Vikings, Falcons, Steelers, Patriots and Cowboys.
In the four-team A-League, the Black Jackets hosted the White Jackets and the Gold Jackets played the Yellow Jackets. The unbeaten Black Jackets, coached by David Buck and James Johnson, defeated the White Jackets, coached by David McGhee, Mike Warrick and Mark Thomas, 20-0. The Gold Jackets, coached by Charles Wray, Dustin Bell, Craig Godwin and Carl Smith, were victorious in their side of the bracket, beating the Yellow Jackets, coached by Chris Livington, Al Ward, Brad Silverhus and Eben Jones, 6-0.
That set up a showdown of No. 1 versus No. 2 in the championship game. The Gold Jackets struck first in the game, with quarterback Tyler Nabritt hitting Bradley Godwin on a 29-yard touchdown pass. Godwin then hit the 2-point kick to put the Gold Jackets up 8-0.
Alexander Miller of the Black Jackets responded with a 10-yard touchdown of his own. The kick was no good, however, with the Gold Jackets holding an 8-6 advantage. Nabritt then extended the Gold Jackets’ lead with a 12-yard touchdown run, followed by a Godwin kick. Cole Saggus then scored on a 1-yard touchdown run after a 53-yard scamper of his own. However, the Black Jackets were unable to convert their 2-point try. From there the Gold Jackets held on for a 16-12 win.
When asked who had big games for him, Wray said Nabritt, Godwin, Dorian Hazel and Gunner Trahan stood out. Though he also was quick to say “all of them” were winners.
“We told Tyler (Nabritt) before the game that we were going to put it on him,” Wray said. “He lived up to it.”
Wray said the win felt “great” and jokingly said he was going to go to Disney World.
In B-League league action, the Vikings, coached by Josh Trahan, Gerald Brown, Tony Harrell, Alan Kneece and Steven Quarles, defeated the Jets, coached by Matthew Baskett, Marlus Williams, Henry Buckson and Jamaal Johnson, 14-0 in the opener. The Patriots, coached by Ray Goldman, Reginald Williams and Bernard Kitchens, fell to the Steelers, coached by Kevin Eidell, Greg Lepard, Brett Cooper, Red Shultz and Jason Adams, 12-0.
The Cowboys, coached by Stephen Henry, Williams Holmes, Dan Farmer, Marcus Culbreath and John Maddox, had a first-round bye and knocked off the Vikings 14-6. That set up a showdown between the Cowboys and Steelers for the championship.
The Steelers struck first with a long touchdown from Peter Adams of 42 yards. Shane Sloan kicked the extra point to put the Steelers out to an early 8-0 lead. The Cowboys responded, though, with a Simeon Henry 2-yard touchdown and tied the game with an extra point.
Adams proved to be the difference-maker, however, with a 10-yard touchdown for his second on the day. The Steelers would make that lead stand and beat the Cowboys 16-8.
“Our defensive ends were just outstanding – Davion Holmes and Trey White have been outstanding for us all year,” Eidell said. “Chris Turner has been great at middle linebacker. Obviously Peter Adams played great today played well at corner and ran the ball very well. Michael Adams is our quarterback and has done a very good job managing the offense and we’re real proud of how he’s progressed through the year. Then again, all of them have done fantastic.”
Eidell said the coaches are simply there to “help the kids” and “help them grow.”
“We see a lot of potential in these guys and we want them to be as good of football players as they can when they go to play for Coach Pippin or wherever their careers take them,” he said.
In the C-League action started at 9 a.m. with the Vikings, coached by Rob Kincaid, Chris Wyatt, Tom Dunaway, Joe Lloyd and Donifon Brown, beating the Falcons, coached by Charles Baskett, Chris Baskett, Fred Curry and CJ Jenkins, 6-0. The Steelers, coached by Tyrone Hughes, Mark Stone, Larry White and Chris Rutland, beat the Patriots, coached by Brian Moore, Mat Chapman, Scott Fanning, Craig Butcher and Sam Nason, 12-8.
From there the Vikings played the undefeated Jets, coached by Tremayne Washington, Patrick Green, Todd Peeler, Don Brown, Ronnie Hall and Bo Thomas. The Jets won that tilt, 18-0 to advance to the championship. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys, coached by Michael Robinson, Tim Wright, Casey Stone, Ricardo Jones, Terry Hunt and Charles Seider, 6-0.
That set up a title game between the Jets and Steelers. The Jets’ Patrick Green II took it from there, busting out two big touchdown runs of 35 and 50 yards respectively. The defense pitched a shutout and gave the Jets an undefeated season and championship.
“We’ve had a great group of kids this year on offense and defense,” Washington said. “I was fortunate enough not to deal with substitutions because everyone could play their position and play the whole game.”
Washington played in the Rotary Bowl years ago, and coached his son, Landon, who played quarterback at North Augusta Middle School this year. The win gives Washington a triple crown – once as a player and twice as a coach with his other son, Taylon, on the Jets.
Statistics were provided by the Rotary Club of North Augusta. A full photo gallery of the day’s events, with photos available for purchase, can be found by visiting northaugustastar.com.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star.