Three Lacey American Youth Football players recently traveled to Florida for a week after they were selected to New Jersey’s AYF eighth grade all-star team for the National Championship.
Connor Wilson, Hunter MacPherson and Brandon Mahoney were first selected by their Lacey Midget Division coaches to try out for the New Jersey All-Star team.
“We have been very fortunate to be part of AYF the last two years and have these opportunities for our kids,” Lacey Midget Head Coach Keith Perrone added.
The boys competed with 99 players from throughout the state Conference to make the 32-man roster. All three boys started in each of the games the team played.
In addition to playing football against teams from throughout the country, the boys participated in fun activities, Perrone said.
“This was an experience of a lifetime for these boys, they made new friends, learned football and will have these great memories for the rest of their lives,” Perrone said.
The team finished in third place nationally, losing in the semi-final game to the eventual national champion San Diego team in overtime 8-6. In the first two games they outscored their opponents 66-0, defeating Blackstone Valley, GA 32-0 and Colonial Massachusetts 34-0 before being edged out by San Diego. In the consolation game they defeated Central Mass 34-6.
Wilson started at tailback, the same position he played for the Lions, and scored two touchdowns. MacPherson, a Fullback and Linebacker, played Center and had every snap for the team in all four games. Mahoney moved from Linebacker to Defensive End and recorded numerous tackles on a defense that let up only two touchdowns in four games.
“All three boys were very deserving and really made Lacey proud” Perrone said. “I received several compliments from other coaches, league officials and parents on not only the work ethic and abilities of these boys, but their character.”
This was the second year in a row that Lacey was represented by three players on this team that traveled to Florida. Before that Lacey was part of the Pop Warner Program.
“So far we Lacey has been represented by six very special kids and I hope next year we can allow another three or four kids this very special opportunity,” Perrone said.