It’s Super Bowl weekend for youth football teams, and two teams from Tracy are going after their respective league championships Saturday and Sunday.

Tracy Rampage

Saturday’s games include the Tracy Rampage Starts facing the Pittsburg Pirates for the Nor Cal Youth Football and Cheer title.

The Rampage team, with a 9-2 record, is the north conference champion after beating the Lodi Titans 32-6 this past Saturday at East Union High in Manteca.

The Starts are the youngest players in the league, the 8-and-under level. Rampage coach Alex Alvarado said his players, most of them new to the team this season, picked up the game quickly.

“It was tough to get them going in the beginning, but my coaching staff really helped them develop their skills, blocking and different plays. They’ve really come a long way,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of kids with big hearts and the will to do better.”

The team leaders in the conference championship game were Osani Gayles and Christian Dixon, the playmakers on the Rampage offense. Top defenders included Jai Holmes and Freddie Ramos.

Saturday’s championship game kicks off at 9 a.m. at Heritage High in Brentwood.

Tracy Cougars

Only seven players came out for the Tracy Cougars Novice team on the first day of practice this summer. They turned out to be the inspiration that would help the team grow to the 21-player roster it has today.

Coach LeConte Vaughn said that’s the spirit that led to his team’s 10-1 record going into the Delta Youth Football League Super Bowl against the Northwest Trojans on Sunday.

That record includes a 52-20 win over the Modesto Vikings in the DYFL South Conference championship game this past weekend at Kimball High.

“When the numbers weren’t what we would have liked them to be, they could have left and went to the Buccaneers or the Rampage, but what makes these guys special is they stayed around when things weren’t looking up,” Vaughn said. “It’s easy to want to migrate to where you think someone is going to win. It’s harder to stay around when things are looking bleak.”

This is Vaughn’s second year coaching the team, which has gone 20-3 in that time. He said the team’s offensive line has been especially effective.

“We’re teaching guys that when they’re uncovered, how to chip and go second level, whereas most youth linemen, especially at this level, novice, they stand in place,” he said. “Our guys are going to get the defenders.”

Sunday’s game at Bear Creek High in Stockton will be the last where the team will be known as the Tracy Cougars. Team president Haywood Johnson said that starting in 2018, the team will be known as the Tracy Volunteers, taking the name and color scheme — orange and white — of the University of Tennessee.

“No one here has got this color scheme, and it really pops,” Johnson said. “We wanted a fresh start as we’re moving forward in a new direction.”

Contact Sports Editor Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

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