BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Almost every kid dreams about playing under the Friday night lights, winning championships and making memories that will last a lifetime.
But these kids didn’t have to wait until high school.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth Football League (MGCYFL) Bowl Games took place Saturday and connected kids from across South Mississippi through their love of football.
“All the way from Bay St. Louis to George County and Vancleave that is our waltz. We have 12 schools in our league as we speak,” said MGCYFL Vice President, Richard Arguelles.
Kids from ages 5 to 13 strapped on the pads and competed for silverware. How the teams finished in their division determined if they got the opportunity to play for the Iron or the Super Bowl. Division leaders in the east and west squared off for the Superbowl. The division runner-ups fought for the Iron Bowl.
But no matter the game, the passion was evident all day long.
“There is nothing like it. I played football for years. I can’t remember how many games I won and how many I lost. But I remember the feeling I got when I strapped on the equipment, and you are out there on the field giving it all you got," said MGCYFL President, Ben Taylor. " You got the fans cheering you on, the cheerleaders cheering. There is nothing like it in the world. It is the best sport in the world.”
That argument became stronger after the U-12 Iron Bowl! Tied 20 to 20, the Stone Tomcats had time for one more play! The team’s star running back, Daylon Collins, gets the pitch and throws it 25 yards to none other than his younger brother, Jayden Collins!
“It mean a lot man. My bro threw a good pass,” said Jayden.
Unshockingly, the siblings just gave the other credit for the play.
“It was amazing. I knew he was going to catch it,” said Daylon.
Cheers, applause and more rang down on the field as the Tomcats piled on top of one another in the end-zone. While there was plenty of proud parents and fans in the stands, perhaps no one was more proud than their head coach, John Stringer.
“They deserve it. They worked hard all year," said Stringer. "We took our beating at the beginning of the year, so they deserve everything they get. They earned it.”
While the Tomcats won the U-12 Iron Bowl and claimed third place, the Vancleave Bulldogs beat Hancock United to claim the U-12 Super Bowl!