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Youth Football

Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:53 PM

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Brad Peters brought an all-encompassing approach to his Hernando Youth League Pee Wee team this season.

The work of his coaching staff and players paid major dividends, all the way to Saturday's Timucua Pop Warner Football Conference championship game.

HYL fell to the host Dunnellon Tigers, 14-6, to conclude a stellar campaign that saw it go 7-1 in the regular season.

"I utilized a full-package program," said Peters, the team's head coach. "Everything from a parents meeting before the season to the way we practiced. We had a practice plan that detailed every day, minute by minute.

"Just consistency across the board; we were trying to instill discipline, sportsmanship. … A little bit of everything made us the success that we were."

The roster featured: Noah Batten, Isaiah Brown, Marcus Chance, Garrett Johnson, Jaquan Spry, Carson Lashley, Dalton Peters, Dalton Berg, Jarrett Sinwelski, Andre Woods, Shavaris McNair, Keaton Piermatteo, Micah Kahler, Andrew Clay, Dylan Stanford, David Hale Bronson, Jamarius Waddy, Jacorey Hartman, Harrison Carter, Dalton Black, Jacob Hackney, Kevon Williams and Tyler Danner.

Ages ranged from 10 to 11 years, up to 120 pounds, and up to 100 pounds for 12-year-olds.

Peters praised his coaching staff, including Craig Black, Steve Hackney, Josh Parnell and Sam Batten.

"I went out early in the season when the kids were playing baseball and recruited coaches," Peters said. "Guys I knew who had players I knew would be playing for me. I wanted to bring in fresh ideas and perspectives on the game.

"The second thing, I went out at the end of last school year and found kids who have never played before. That age group is middle school-aged kids. We lose a lot of players to middle school programs."

He managed to get 23, and they mostly rolled through the competition. Behind a stout defense and a single-wing offense, HYL outscored its opponents in the regular season, 276-70. The team recorded four shutouts.

A week before the conference title tilt, HYL faced The Villages in a playoff game in Ocala and notched a 20-8 victory.

That pitted the Brooksville bunch against the foe it twice couldn't solve, Dunnellon.

"We played in the regular season and lost to them," Peters said. "We were not as prepared and certainly we got better after that.

"We were the better team (on Saturday). There were just some things that took place that I think maybe got into the boys' heads a little bit.

"For the 10, 11, 12 age group, it's a challenging group. You have a very broad spectrum of maturity and things affect them all different. I think the mental aspect got to them a little bit."

Still, Peters couldn't help but be satisfied with his squad's performance throughout the season.

"For the kids to go to the championship game, it was an achievement," Peters said. "Some of these boys won't play in a game with that much at stake ever again." (352) 544-5288

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