Jaguars and Wolverines are youth football champs

The NAU football staff kept the stats, which showed:

• Trevor Cruse (a Prescott athlete who also plays on the Mile High Middle School team) with more than 260 yards passing,

• Brian Scates (Prescott Valley) with two touchdown receptions,

• Art Burges (PV) with two TD receptions,

• Nick Kellogg (PV) with 13 tackles, and

• Ricky Edwards (PV) with 10 tackles.

The Jags, who are "pretty big and pretty fast," according to Coach Edwards, have a 19 - 3 record over the last two years, finishing this season 10-1. They had to win two playoffs to get to the championship game.

With eight teams in the junior midget division, they traveled as far as Holbrook for games. In fact, they drove there twice.

"We beat them three times, and it was the toughest team we faced," Edwards said. "They had one big kid – better than anybody in the league – who was tough to shut down."

Edwards said the secret to the Jags success was, "We had a very experienced team, a great group of kids and a great group of parents. It was a joy to coach."

Edwards, pastor at The Church at Glassford Hill, said coaching is what kept him motivated through a difficult year. He took a leave of absence from his job for a few months while he battled acute fatigue and fibromyalgia and his wife underwent surgery for cancer. Both are recovering.

"They (the football players) kept me going. Sometimes I would sleep all afternoon, get up and go at 5 o'clock and re-energize," he said. "I had several days in a row when I could barely get out bed. But as president of the league, I needed to be there."

Exhaustion aside, he said, "I didn't want it to end. I could have year-round football."

The boys evidently feel the same. They will participate in a Las Vegas tournament during Thanksgiving weekend.