The Roswell Youth Football League wrapped up its season with its annual RYFL Super Bowl at the DeBremond Stadium last Saturday.
Six teams in three different age groups participated in the Super Bowl and hundreds of parents and guardians came to support the young athletes. The RYFL Super Bowl also acknowledged their cheerleaders who cheered for their respective teams throughout the season by providing them gifts during halftime. These girls trained just as hard as these boys during the season.
The first game is for the seven and eight-year-old age group's top two teams: the Blue Devils and the Future. The Blue Devils won the competition against the Future with a final score of 19-0. Sir Michael Nelson scored two touchdowns for the Blue Devils.
Adreana Barraza, the aunt of Sir Nelson, was on the sidelines watching the game with Nelson’s grandfather Ariel Vargas.
“I love coming out and watching him play,” Barraza said. “He makes me proud, makes his grandparents proud. I know the people that come and watch are happy to see him. When I’m standing somewhere, I hear his name. It’s amazing to hear other people say how good of a player he is.”
Vargas said that the RYFL is beneficial to his grandson because it teaches him life lessons on and off the field.
“He’s a good kid,” Vargas said. “He’s learning to be good, and noble, and not think about the attention he’s getting. I’d rather have him here instead of playing video games at home or hanging out with the bad kids.”
In the second game, it was the Falcons versus the Sooners in the nine and ten age group. The Falcons got an early lead against the Sooners in the first half and got another touchdown in the second, winning the game with a final score of 12-0.
Sooners head coach Sabino Lazos said that the most important part of the RYFL is teaching the kids values they would carry for the rest of their lives.
“Regardless of what it is, I’m very proud of the kids. We got a couple of kids that never played football and they had a lot of improvement. We got kids that already played in the Super Bowl before and they just keep showing up, learning and keeping impressing us as coaches,” Lazos said. “It teaches them responsibility, being on time, dedication, and teamwork. These are things in society that we carry throughout our lives. You got to be able to show up on time for your job, you got to be able to do your school work. So, I think it teaches them structure for the future.”
The last game of the RYFL Super Bowl is for the 11 and 12 age group where the Raiders defeated the Red Raiders in a 40-12 victory.
Raiders head coach Sylvester Lomeli said that it was a hard-fought match against the Red Raiders.
“We came out a little flat in a few plays but once we opened things up, we just got going,” Lomeli said. “Our defense played well for three solid quarters until we gave up two touchdowns back-to-back.”
Lomeli said he’s had the luck of having good athletes and support as the head coach of the Raiders.
"I'm very proud of them," Lomeli said. "I have some leaders in this team: Zeke Barrientos, Andrew Fuentes, and Alex Lomeli. They stepped up and I think that the rest of the kids followed them because they listen to them. I'm just happy for the kids and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for them."
Lomeli said he’s stepping away from youth football next year to focus his attention on his own kids.
“I got a boy who’s a senior so it’ll be his last year,” Lomeli said. “I’m also going to follow Alex (Lomeli) around as he plays for Sierra (Middle School).”
Red Raiders coach Stephen Lobo Rodriguez said that it was a tough game facing the Raiders.
“They got the best of us,” Rodriguez said. “This is the third time we have met and they beat us all three times. They put it to us and we tried our best to beat them.”
Coach Rodriguez said that he had doubts early in the season but realized the kid’s potential the moment they stepped on the field.
“From the very first drive of our first game, I saw the confidence in the kids,” Rodriguez said. “We instilled in them to have fun, work as a team and as a brotherhood. So, I’m very proud of the 12-year-olds for being a good bunch, and the 11-year-olds for stepping up to play with the 12-year-olds. They had a lot of fun doing it. We had our ups and downs but we put it together and they did what they had to do to get to that final game.”
Sports reporter Blynn Juliano Beltran can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.