Pompano Eagles look to soar in AYFL

Posted on 15 August 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach Eagles are looking to make a big splash in their first year in the American Youth Football League (AYFL).

Dean Grant, head coach of the 11-Under Pompano Eagles team, is in his first season with the program after moving cross town from the Tamarac Cougars AYFL program.

This season is a special season because we have the right players, and the right coaches,” Grant said. “They are fired up and I think they can make it to the big game – the Super Bowl.”

I understand the type of talent in the AYFL,” Grant said. “We plan to not just take part in it, but take over it.”

Players can be a year older than the age group they are playing in as long as their birthday comes after May 1 of the season.

Pompano Beach’s Gabby Almonord, 12, scored on a 63-yard scoring run against the host Delray Rocks in an 11-Under scrimmage game at Hilltopper Stadium in Delray Beach. The teams played to a 6-6 tie.

It is a lot of fun,” said Almonord, a Deerfield Middle seventh-grader. “I like to play with Devin (Voltaire) and everybody else on the team. I like the coaches and I played with a lot of people before. The coaches help me a lot.”

Voltaire, 12, also of Pompano Beach, is a Margate Middle sixth grader.

This is really big for me,” Voltaire said. “I like the coaches and the kids. They listen to me because I am a leader. We got to keep our heads up so other players can follow us. If we keep our heads up we can win a lot of games.”

Grant said he doesn’t believe there is any pressure on his team, quite the contrary.

Pressure makes diamonds,” Grant said.

We started off real, real slow,” Grant said. “We barely had enough kids to make our roster, but we had a good coaching staff that showed up every day to practice on time, waiting on kids. We got with the parents and we were able to put it together. The parents had to buy into what we were doing and they are buying in, so the sky is the limit. With a little tuning and touching up here and there between the coaches and the players, we will make the big game.”

Grant sees similarities with the National Football League’s version of the Eagles. Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in February.

It is the year of the Eagles,” Grant proclaimed. “I believe it with everything I love. I just hope that what we started off here will humble these kids to push themselves even harder at practice and we come out in the first game of the season and put a beating on Cooper City (Colts).”

The Pompano Eagles have a storied history in the city of Pompano Beach having produced All Pro NFL stars like Corey Simon (Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans), Jabari Price (Minnesota Vikings), Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals) and also have helped groom many other successful players.

The Pompano Eagles produced the Super Bowl Champions Junior Mighty Mites and Senior Mighty Mites Teams in 2017 in the Pop Warner League and plan on sending more teams to the AYFL Super Bowl in 2018.

Other teams in the Broward County-based league include the Colts (Cooper City/Davie), Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood PAL, Lauderhill, Miramar, Plantation, Pompano, Pembroke Pines Optimist, Sunrise, Tamarac, and West Pines.

The Eagles begin play on Aug. 11 when they travel to Cooper City and will play a 10-game season followed by playoffs. The Top-8 teams in each division will advance to the playoffs, which will begin on Oct. 27. The second round will be played on Nov. 3 and the Super Bowl will be played on Nov. 10.

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