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When Dreams Come True

The Metro Youth Association League championship games were held at Papa John's Stadium this year. It was a Saturday morning, and a chill was in the air at Papa John's Stadium, the home of the 2006 Orange Bowl Champions the University of Louisville Cardinals. On this day, there were four games to be played for the might of the seniors. The Metro Youth League had a three-week playoff, where every team in each division got a chance to play in a championship game. For those who succeed, the reward was playing on the turf at Papa John's Stadium.

The greatest joy about this day was watching the faces of the players and coaches. Each young man had a twinkle in his eye as he touches the turf for the first time and possibly the last. This feeling would stay with them for a lifetime, but on this day, there would be some tears. Before each and every game, these players all seem to be dreaming, as if they were on the University of Louisville team or, better still, in the N.F.L. Many of the coaches also seemed to be reacting to the touch of the turf, which brings back memories of days gone by, with big smiles all around.

The Cowboys organization had three teams that won their division, but only the Pee Wee team would win this day. The Jets, who have the longest legacy with this league, had two teams representing them. This was the most teams from any organization and their senior team, who was coached by Charles Shepard, would win.

The most entertaining game of the day had to be that of the might-might team, with age ranging from six to seven years of age. They played four quarters of hard-nose football without either team scoring. The Trojans, who last year had a record 1-8, turned it around this year with a record of 14-1. They faced the Cowboys with a record of 6-0. The Trojans and Cowboys each had two outstanding defenses to off-set each other's amazing running game.

The Trojans' backfield had two amazing running backs: Mr. Arion Wilcox and Mr. Corey Johnson. Mr. Johnson scored a season high 37 touchdowns, but none greater than his last one, which lifted the Trojans over the Cowboys in overtime, 6-0, for the might-might championship under Coach Johnson. The Trojan coach, Corey Johnson, gave credit to defense coordinator Darryl Johnson and the other assistant coaches that made this season possible.

The Pee Wee division had another Cowboys team facing the California Jets. Coach Mark White also was a first time championship coach. Coach White does not like to give individual recognition, but he would like to name Mr. Bell as his M.V.P. Mr. Bell was a long time coach and assistant coach who will be retiring this year.

The Tenth Street Cardinals were the defending Junior Division Champions from last year, where they posted a 10-0 record. This year's teams entered Papa John's with an 8-2 record coached by Joe Thomas and Jay Bird, hoping to become back-to-back champions. The Cardinals are one of the few teams to ever repeat in this league. Repeat they did, with a mixture of good defense and offense. Stay tuned and see if the Cardinals can make a three-peat. Coach Shepard, who has won five championships, feels this was one of his best teams, all because of various factors ranging from chemistry to academics. Coach Shepard gave his assistant coaches most of the credit for their success.

This was a day where there were no losers, but a day where dreams came true on the turf at Papa John's Stadium.

The University of Louisville and the entire sponsorship for these games should be recognized, applauded, and thanked for giving these young men this opportunity.

pictures by WtWo Productions

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