After a season of hard work and a week of practicing in the snow, the The South Tahoe Mighty Mites were prepared to give their best at the Snow Bowl.
The boys did not disappoint.
The Mighty Mites took on the loaded Sparks Cardinals and came away with the win Saturday. They defeated the Cardinals 39-6 on Saturday in Reno. The Mighty Mites finished the season 8-2.
As was the case all year, Jake Tarwater led the Mighty Mites with five touchdowns. It would have been seven, but two touchdowns were called back due to penalties.
"For someone so young, Jake showed maturity and leadership skills far beyond his years," head coach Thomas O'Keefe said in an email. "South Tahoe will be hearing a lot from Jake in the coming years."
Tarwarter scored more than 25 touchdowns and threw for three more this season. He also led the team in tackles on defense.
The offensive line was a big part of that success. The boys held it down on every play this season.
"Out starting offensive line of Malachi Womack, Jace Kezer, Isaiah Daley, Reece O'Keefe, Hayden Waters, Aiden Rippet and Liam Molesworth was the reason we were able to find the endzone so often this year," O'Keefe said. "This group of young football players week in and week out played against much larger defensive lines, yet they outplayed their opponents on every down."
The Mighty Mites counted on their backs to be blockers too. Jeremy Smiley, Derek Robbins, Zackary Klug and Tarwater himself all made their blocking as dominant as their running.
In the Snow Bowl,the defensive line of Robbins, O'Keefe, Jake Whisnant, Trenton Schouten, Waters and Justin Vinson left the opponents frustrated and uncertain.
The ability of our defensive line to quickly get pass the offensive line disrupting the offense resulted in very few plays for positive yards. Behind that defensive line was the best group of linebackers and cornerbacks in the league. Womack and Molesworth at the corners, with Klug, Tarwater and Smiley at linebackers.
Backing up the starters, was a group of up and coming football players named Reese Catchings, Malachi Rounds, Troy Dingman, Jake Novack, Ryan Aguila, Eric Toner, Zackary Degischer and Devin Martineau, who were equally important to the championship season.
Along with O'Keefe, Mighty Mite coaches included Ken Robbins, Chris Klug, James Thomas, Kevin Lucero and Ross Molesworth.
"These coaches dedicated an incredible amount of time teaching these young football players how to play the game correctly, safely and how to be great teammates," O'Keefe said.