Defense gets DYFL teams to finals

Published 5:31 pm Friday, November 4, 2011

Demopolis will look for its first West Alabama Youth Football Association title Saturday as its 8U and 12U teams compete in the WAYFA finals of their respective age divisions.

Demopolis joined the association in 2008 and has since had a handful of opportunities to clinch championships. Perhaps, though, none of those chances has been greater than the one facing the Demopolis program this season as its teams enter a combined 18-0, having surrendered a total of five touchdowns in 2011.

“We’ve played defense good. I think we’ve only given up about three scores all year,” 8U coach David Coley said. “And that was against Holt both times.”

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“I think all year we’ve been scored on, I think twice,” 12U coach Joe Tidmore said. “Defensively, it has kept us there. Offensively we’ve (mercy ruled) everyone we’ve played except two teams, those were Greene County and Hale County.”

For the 8U team, the experience of reaching the finals is not new. Coley’s cats competed in the finals last season, falling to Northport 7-0. Coley expects his team is better prepared than its 2010 predecessor.

“They’re really excited. I’m so impressed with them from last year to this year. I didn’t think that we would be able to make it back this year,” Coley said. “They’re just so excited to make it back.”

The 8U team was able to work its way back to the finals despite being without Coley throughout its playoff run as illness kept the head coach away.

“I’d like to thank the coaches that stepped up with them,” Coley said. “It’s just amazing.”

The 8U team will challenge their counterparts from Central-Tuscaloosa in the finals.

The 12U team will tussle with Northport, who defeated Central 6-0 to punch its championship ticket.

“I think we match up well. We’re actually real similar in what we do offensively and defensively. They are well-coached, which to me, helps us,” Coley said.

Tidmore and the 12U team went to the finals in 2008 and 2009, but no player currently on the roster has had the experience as the squad missed the championship round in 2010.

“The biggest difference is that this team last year, most of the players were 11 and have had a whole year with us. That’s the core group. We’ve got some skill guys playing that are 11 and doing a good job,” Tidmore said.

Tidmore’s group downed Hale County 24-0 last week to earn its spot in the finals. Fortunately for both Demopolis squads, the games will be played on familiar turf at Tiger Stadium as Demopolis was selected in the preseason as the championship site.

“It’s better. It feels like we’ve got home field advantage,” Coley said. “The kids are up for it. They are up for it. They are ready for this game.”

The Demopolis 8U team will kickoff the trio of games at Tiger Stadium Saturday morning at 9 a.m. The 10U championship will follow and the 12U game will conclude the day.