Young Bulldogs pull off decades-due win
By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Fri., Dec. 2, 2011
On Nov. 20, the Stafford Bulldogs Youth Football League's B-Team pulled off an inspiring league championship victory when it defeated the Colchester Cougars, 26-8. Stafford's Nov. 13 defeat over the Tolland Eagles, 22-16, paved the way for the Bulldogs to take on the Cougars in a championship game that was hosted by Tolland.
The Stafford Bulldogs Youth Football League is part of the Northern Connecticut Football League, which is composed of 12 area towns. The Bulldogs' B-Team is comprised of youth ages 10 and 11. Their last league championship was claimed in 1985.
“I love my team,” said head coach Bob Grant. “They were a great bunch of kids. They worked hard all year, they had great expectations, and they fulfilled every one of them.”
Grant said that he asked a lot of his team, which met his demands without question. He described the victory as “significant,” because it has been at least 25 years since the Bulldogs were league champs.
Grant said that although the B-Team is losing five of its key players after this season, he nonetheless anticipates another good season in 2012, when returning players will be able to make more of their own contributions to hopefully “duplicate the success.” SBYFL also accepts new players. “New kids are always welcome,” said Grant.
The team's success is not solely a function of coach and players, drills and touchdowns. Behind the scenes, parents and volunteers coordinate and conduct fundraisers, such as coffee and tea events, a helmet drop (drive-by donations) and car washes to help keep the team going. Uniforms, equipment, lights and other team necessities all cost money, and volunteers strive to meet the team's needs.
“Everything goes right back into the league,” said team parent Rachel Gebo, who serves as the primary contact person between the team and players' parents. She issues schedules, generally communicates information and serves as the team's videographer.
On Nov. 30, the Bulldogs celebrated their season and title with a banquet at Sun Valley. The team plans to continue the celebration by creating a float and participating in Stafford's Winterfest parade on Dec. 11.
For more information about joining the team or becoming a volunteer in support of the team, contact coach Bob Grant at 860-202-7479 or visit www.bulldogsyouthfootball.com.
Send comments and story ideas to Lauri Voter at firstname.lastname@example.org.