Three area youth football teams will be showing their stuff in the Mississippi Youth Bowl Championship Series starting Saturday in Canton.
In the 10U division, the Big Man University Wolves from Cleveland will be taking on the Magnolia Hurricanes from Pike County at 2 p.m., and the Bolivar County Falcons from Mound Bayou will take on the Baldwyn Badgers at 3 p.m.
In the 12U division, the Shaw Mustangs will battle the Whitehall Titans from Tylertown at 5 p.m.
The MYBCS is three rounds. The second round will be played in Magnolia on Dec. 9 and the championship will be played in Jackson on Dec. 16.
The Wolves enter the 10U division with a perfect 11-0 record, while the Bolivar County Falcons are 9-2. The Shaw Mustangs are 7-0 heading into the 12U division.
B.M.U. is in its first year as a program.
Wolves head football coach Anthony Rivera said the team is ready for the challenge.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Rivera said. “These kids have been together since they were four and five years old. We just mold and critique their game, and they’ve only given up 49 points the whole season and we’ve scored 255 points and that’s running and throwing.”
Rivera felt that playing competition from different parts of the state will be a good learning experience.
“You never know what other teams have and it’s good exposure for the kids,” Rivera said. “I’ve seen a couple of clips of a couple of teams. It’s going to be a great challenge.”
Rivera added that his players have worked well together.
“They believe in each other,” Rivera said. “They honestly believe if they depend on one another that nobody can beat them.”
The Bolivar County Falcons are in their third year of existence.”
Bolivar County head football coach Homer Taylor said the tournament will give his players a chance to go up against some different talent.
“It gives our kids an opportunity to see new faces instead of playing the same teams over and over,” Taylor said. “It gives our kids the exposure of meeting new coaches and new players and see where we stack up out of our division.”
One of the big match-ups in the 10U league this year took place in the North Mississippi Youth Football Association Super Bowl as B.M.U defeated Bolivar County 32-26 in quadruple overtime.
Overall, Taylor was proud with the development of his team and the success it’s had during the season.
“The 10 U team has made it to the Super Bowl back-to-back years,” Taylor said. “They won it last year and came in second this year. The kids love the game of football. We have a lot of talent in the Delta, and I was glad to get this program started and be one of the top teams in our league.”
The Shaw Mustangs are in their seventh year of existence.
Mustangs head football coach Xavius Loggins was excited about the chance to compete against the best in the state.
“They have a great opportunity,” Loggins said. “This is something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. They’re playing for their community and their schools and it’s also a chance for fans in Bolivar County to unite. They’ve been working hard all summer and it’s paying off now.”
Loggins said the players have worked hard on the basics and have stayed focused.
“We break things down to blocking, tackling and running,” Loggins said. “Those are the main components to our success. We also stress dedication, determination and discipline. We’re very up-tempo and upbeat. The kids are very smart and very intelligent. On offense, we run a no-huddle. On defense, we get to the ball. We can cover and we can hit. They do a great job of maintaining their assignments.
“We just thank God for all the blessings He has given us. Without Him, none of this is possible. We’re working hard for our president Eric Henry and I have two great assistants with Eugene Sanders and Darnell Christman. ”