Snohomish youth football team to appear at NFL Pro Bowl
Photo courtesy Coach Kennedy McGill
The players on the Legion of 12s flag football team from Snohomish earned a berth to the national championship in Orlando later this month.
SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish Boys & Girls Club Legion of 12s flag football team will be flying all the way to Orlando, Florida Jan. 24.
The flag football team of 9- and 10-year-old children swept a Seahawks-sponsored regional tournament in Renton in November.
The tired but determined players won five straight games to clinch a spot in the national NFL Flag Football Championship, capping off an undefeated season. Many of the children have played together for four years, said Boys & Girls Club athletic director Scott Titterness.
Legion of 12s coach Kennedy McGill said their undefeated streak extends beyond this year and is a testament to their hard work even in the offseason.
The nine players, eight boys and one girl, and their two chaperones can anticipate an extraordinary weekend of football and fun. The NFL and the organization USA Football treat regional winners with tickets to Walt Disney World and the Pro Bowl, plus a stay at a sports-themed resort.
McGill and Titterness will get to lead the young players not only through a national championship game, gaining national attention, but the players will also see their gridiron heroes firsthand.
Early in the trip, professional football players will enjoy a little role reversal, turning the mics on the children at an ESPN media event. Another highlight of the trip will be when players take the field to hold the American flag at the Pro Bowl on Jan. 28.
Player Jordan Farmer, 10, “is 24/7 football,” he eats and breathes football, “he’s a ‘helmet,’”said Eric Stevens, his proud grandfather.
Stevens said his grandson was excited just to win the regional tournament.
And about McGill, “Whatever he’s doing, he’s doing a mighty fine job of it,” Stevens said.
McGill had similar praise for Titterness: “I can’t say enough how many wonderful things he’s done and what he’s had to go through, that guy is showing up at 7 a.m. setting up the field and (is often) the last to leave.”
McGill says it is hard to put into words what these experiences mean, but that “you can definitely build on something like that, confidence, big dreams… it’s an excellent tool.”
Snohomish’s program is “one of the best run and largest,” said Paul Johns, the Seahawks’ director of youth and high school football programs. Johns had pushed hard for the Hawks to sponsor a regional tournament like
its counterparts in other regions, and after a strong showing this year, hopes the event will become annual.
The tournament included 18 teams in 4 divisions, and was open to eight states. The Seahawks contributed $1,000 to the winning team in each division, comprised of coed teams of 9-10 and 11- to 12- year-olds and separate teams for 13- to 14-year-old boys and girls.
The one significant expense not covered by sponsors is airfare. The team has a GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/legion-of-12s-probowl to help cover the cost. As of earlier this week, the effort had raised $410 of its $5,000 goal.
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