Little league football wins nine championships
Dec 06, 2016 02:57PM
● By Greg James
Twenty of the Herriman little league teams advanced into their division championship games. (Tonia McPeak/Herriman Football)
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By Greg James | [email protected]
Little league football in Herriman has found a goldmine of success. Of the league’s 32 teams, 20 advanced into the Ute Conference finals. The community support has propelled the league toward its goals.
“It has been a great year,” said Herriman Ute Conference President Tom Jager. “We have seen the success with a great board and community support. It all starts with Herriman City; they have been awesome. They help provide fields and lights, and that trickles down to the community and having pride in our teams and neighbors.”
The league’s 637 players were divided into 32 teams. The support came from approximately 1,800 parents and family members.
“I did not have a kid on my team,” said Gremlins age group head coach Cory Hamre. “A friend of mine asked if I would like to coach this season. I got my son and son in-law to help out, and we had a great time. said Gremlins head coach Cory Hamre. We sat around at dinner and made plans and put it together at practice. Having my family come together like that was fun. Our team parents talked about how they have become a family. It has been great.”
Hamre’s Gremlin team went undefeated, finishing the season 11-0. The team defeated West Jordan Blue in the championship game 13-12 on Nov. 5.
“Cory was great,” Jager said. “I think we had three or four coaching staffs that did not have kids playing. These are guys that love football and volunteer their time. It starts in July six days a week and cuts back to four days a week when school starts, but it is a time commitment. The reward far outweighs the time and commitment, though.”
The Mustangs won nine titles this season. Ute Conference divides its teams into 16 divisions. They play Saturdays starting at the end of August and finish with the championship round Nov. 5. Some teams travel to Las Vegas for a final weekend tournament before Thanksgiving.
Ute Conference allows for players to begin playing at 7 years old. Freshman in high school can play in Ute Conference or try out for the high school sophomore team.
“Coach (Dustin) Pearce (Head Coach of Herriman High School Football) really helped out with our teams,” Jager said. “He was with us a few times and took some of our coaches to the southern Utah team camp. They learned the Mustang terminology and were able to pick up similar plays. We did not expect the coaches to run the same stuff the high school does, but it helps to have some continuity.”
Herriman hosted a player camp in July with former Boise State and current Dallas Cowboy quarterback Kellen Moore.
“Life lessons that these kids can learn from football are great,” Jager said. “I have learned that if you work hard then you can benefit like with more playing time. Just like in life you work hard and can get the benefit. Football is hard, just showing up you cannot get a participation award. A great quarterback only benefits if everyone works hard. Teamwork is important.”
Herriman youth football strives to provide an excellent player environment. Their core values include integrity, commitment, pride, discipline and teamwork.
“We tell the kids: work hard, play hard and take pride in what you are doing,” Jager said.
More information can be found on the league’s website, www.herrimanfootball.org.