The Abaco Youth Football Association’s Youth flag football season culminated on Saturday January 30 with play-offs taking place in Murphy Town by the baseball field, starting at 9 am on January 30, setting the stage for the afternoon’s championship games.
In the morning’s playoff games the Murphy Town Tigers took on the Marsh Harbour WildHawgs in the Junior division. By the end of the first half the Tigers were leading by one touchdown with the score 20-14. They kept their aggressive game play during the second half, leading by two scores before the end when the WildHawgs put up another touchdown. The Tigers won 42 to 20 against advancing them to the Championship round
The Falcons would later defeat the Man-O-War Makos by a score of 46 to 20 in a game that was also close early on.
The Pewees playoff match featured the Green Turtle Cay Falcons playing against the WildHawgs. It was a close game during the first half with the WildHawgs leading by one point, but the Green Turtle Cay team, boosted by the loud encouragements of the supporters, ended up winning 41 to 13 qualifying for the championship against the Man-O-War Makos.
In the senior division, the finalists were already in place with the Marsh Harbour WildHawgs confronting the combined team of Man O War and Hope Town.
The first game in Championship was the Hope Town Bull Sharks who took on the Green Turtle Cay Falcons in the Peewee Division. The competition was back and forth during the first half of the game with a lot of good defense played by both teams, however, in the second half the Falcons pulled ahead winning 32 to 13.
The score of the Junior championship game between the Falcons and the Tigers was evidence of how closely disputed that game was. The Tigers were determined to win and fought for the victory until the very end. The Falcons however were intent on taking the title. Their supporters did not give up screaming their encouragements throughout the afternoon, support that continued even after their victory as the Falcons won 33 to 31.
It is notable that this was the first season for the Murphy Town team and they demonstrated that they will be a force
to be taken seriously next year. Their coach, Keven Pierre, said that he had been working intensely with his players, practicing several times a week. He also coaches the senior team and an adult female team.
The last championship game of the day, the Seniors, was another great game match between the Man-O-War/Hope Town Sharks and the Marsh Harbour WildHawgs. It started slowly for the WildHawgs, but they soon recovered reaching a tie of 13-13 at half time and at the end of the game, with the score tied 19-19 with two seconds left in the game, the Sharks scored a touchdown winning the Championship title 25 to 19.
Many parents, family members, coaches and other supporters (including family pets) attended the event which lasted until dusk.
Cable Bahamas (NB12) had a crew reporting live and were a sponsor of the Championship games. Other sponsors of the event were Sky Bahamas, The Moorings/Conch Inn as well as the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture, Sea Spray, Michael Albury, Bargain Car Rentals, Abaco Waste and A & D Trucking.
Pewee Christian Bethel, who scored three touchdowns and one extra point was awarded the MVP for the Falcons. In the Junior division, Reagan Roberts earned the MVP with his impressive Quarterbacking and defensive play. Yvenski (Kiki) Alcime was awarded the MVP for the combined Senior Division for his two touchdowns, including the game winner.
Coach Thomas Sawyer and Chris Roberts coached the Green Turtle Cay Pewees and Michael Sawyer the Juniors. Rich Roberts, Tim Albury, Hugo Nesbit and Livingston Beckford were the coaches of the Sharks, a combination of players from Man O War and Elbow Cay. The WildHawgs were trained by coach and League President Timothy Roberts together with Kevin Pinder.