One of Dorchester’s Pop Warner football teams has won the New England regional title and the right to compete for a national championship once again.
The Eagles’ junior midget B squad defeated a team from New Britain, CT on Nov. 24 by a score of 14-0. The regional championship victory earned the Eagles a chance to return to the Pop Warner “Super Bowl” tournament in Orlando, Florida next weekend.
Terry Cousins, who serves as president of the Dorchester Pop Warner organization, credited head coach Tony Hurston with engineering the successful campaign.
“We had a very successful season this year. They lost their first game by one point, but went on to see that same team in the playoffs and won 36-0 to same team. That first game was a fluke.”
Cousins estimates it will cost $30,000 to pay for the team’s bus trip and stay at Disney World for the tournament.
“We’ve got to fundraise and beg and ask for donors,” Cousins said. “This is the struggle. There’s not enough big sponsorships out there.”
Anyone who wishes to help financially can make a tax deductible donation to the league’s fund at MembersPlus Credit Union in Adams Corner.
It will be the Dorchester program’s first visit to the Super Bowl in recent years. The Eagles have made seven previous trips to this tournament since their foundation in the mid-1990s— but have never brought home the top prize.
“We’ve never won it all, but this group has got a very good shot,” said Coach Hurston.
“They’ve stuck together through our reorganization and they’re really a cohesive group. It’s much more family-oriented, they’ve done so much on and off the field for the last four or five years together. It’s not just football on Saturday and Sundays. They go to each other birthday parties, they are friends.”
The team practices and plays home games at Town Field in Fields Corner, something that Hurston says has been an important new dimension for the program this year. In more recent years, the Eagles teams played next to the Dorchester Education Complex at Roberts Field.
“Moving from Dorchester High to Town Field was like being reborn again. We’re out in the open, the kids and parents feel safer. We’ve had a real backing from the community out there and the police come regularly to show their support too. The kids feel at home there.”
Cousins said two other Dorchester teams— the Pee Wees and Junior Pee Wees— also had strong showings this season and were fell just short of winning regional championships as well.
It will be enough of a challenge for the program to get to Disney with just the one team, which must arrive in Orlando in time for a mandatory weigh-in on Saturday. Their first game will be played on Sunday. Watch the Reporter’s website and Twitter (@DotNews) for updates on their progress.