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Sparks Pop Warner team to play for region championship
by Aaron Retherford
Nov 24, 2010 | 1098 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Pop Warner football season didn’t start out the way the Sparks Steelers were hoping for, but now they are one win away from the Super Bowl and a trip to Disney World.

After dropping to 0-2-1 on the young campaign, something clicked for the Steelers in their quest for Pee Wee division glory. And they haven‘t tasted bitter defeat in their last eight contests.

“It’s pretty amazing. We came together as a team and made the decision that we wanted to commit ourselves and we haven’t lost since,” coach Frankie Lemus said. “I’m absolutely amazed where we’re at with the start we had. We have the most dedicated coaching staff with some of the best kids. There’s nothing but good things to say about these guys. I’m just proud of everything they’ve done.”

The Steelers have had to overcome many obstacles this fall, but the tribulations helped the team bond. Before the season started, Lemus got a scare when his son, Mateo, developed a bacterial infection. Doctors didn’t know why he was sick and they also took out his appendix.

“We lost a couple kids at the beginning of the season, but ever since then we’ve been one unit,” Lemus said.

The Steelers also dedicated a game in honor of Leo Alvarez’s brother, who was killed in military action.

After dominating a Salem, Ore. Bengals team last week in a rainy and muddy game that one would expect an Oregon team to fare well in, the Steelers get a shot at winning the Pacific Northwest Region championship this weekend.

The Steelers face the Sunnyvale Black Knights Saturday in Redwood City, Calif. and the winner heads to the national tournament in Florida on Dec. 4.

“The kids are kind of in awe right now,” Lemus said. “What I appreciate about them is they’re really, honestly focused on this next game right now. They’re not looking toward anything else right now.”

If the Steelers win this weekend, they will need to quickly raise money for the trip to Florida. If anyone is interested in helping, he or she can contact Lemus through his email
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