(Palm Bay, FL) – The Palm Bay Rockets are hoping to win it all in the Pop Warner National Championships, to be held this weekend at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. They will represent the Southeast region in the eight regions vying for the national championship title.
The Rockets had an undefeated season blowing away the competition each step of the way in order to take the East Coast Conference (ECC) title. Palm Bay outscored the Deltona Panthers 42-0; Ormond Beach Sandcrabs 34-0; Merritt Island Mustangs 32-0; Space Coast Sharx of Port St. John 28-0; New Smyrna Beach Barracudas 34-0; Port Orange Hawks 41-0; Cocoa Tigers 40-0; North Brevard Hawks 1-0 (forfeit); Daytona Buccaneers 28-0; and the West Volusia Wolves 32-6 in the ECC championship game.
Palm Bay then outscored the Manatee Wildcats 28-0, and Miami Tacolcy 12-0 , Jacksonville-Scott Park 22-0 to win the Southeast Region title. The Southeast is one of eight regions that will be represented in the National Championship.
During the Manatee Wildcats game, Coach Hampson contributed the win to his O-line led by Colon Combs, Spencer Weisner, Treyhan Ried, Johnny France and DJ Rainman. Also, he contributed the big hard running style of Derrick Taylor who scored twice and Kywan Smith who also tallied up two touchdowns. Blue offense set the tone while also sealing the deal at the end of the game led by Colon Combs, Cody Ozbun, Jason Hoff, Owen Cavanaugh, Dylan Gibison, and Lindstrom. Coach Hampson explained ” My defense was led by Treyhan Reid who was simply unblockable . He was in his own zone and just made play after play. Great Linebacker play by Cordeau Lewis, Sedric King, and Derrick Taylor along with a big interception by Jr Reid and Kywan Smith.” The Rockets’ defense only gave up two 1st downs during the game against a good physical Manatee Wildcat team. Coach Hampson also claims “This Rocket team is full of playmakers who all have the same goal in there mind.”
When asked about the Miami Talcocy game, Coach Hampson again acknowledged his defense. “This game was about Defense, Defense, Defense led by Derick Taylor being a general on the field. Cordeau Lewis sparked the defense with his interception along with a lot of other big plays on both sides of the ball. Justin Reid was able to keep there top reciever on lock down all day. William Champion stepped in played a huge game converting from linebacker to free safety in less than a week and came up with a huge interception. Our game plan was to shut down the jet sweeps and our defensive ends (Jonny Frances, Antwon Sims and Josh Boone, Leontre Bawgus) were able to turn everything inside to the ‘Monster in the middle’ Mook, Treyhan Reid, and Vino Thomas. ” The game was 0-0 at the half-time, Kywan Smith opened up the 3rd quarter with a 70-yard touchdown run followed by another 30-yard touchdown run to put the Rockets up 12-0. Coach Hampson spoke of his strong offensive leader “We were unable to put the ball in the air to much with all the heat that Talcolcy was bringing up the middle but my quarterback, Kaleb Dempsey, showed why he is an offensive leader on this team. He shows unselfishness and is willing to stick with the game plan and that was to play old school football and just grind it up the middle. I am very proud of the knuckleheads and they know they still have a lot of work to accomplish to achieve that “One Goal and One Dream”.
Palm Bay Rockets’ Midgets : Leontrae Bawgus, Donovan Bemiller, Josh Boone, Owen Cavanaugh, William Champion, Collins Combs, Kaleb Dempsey, Dylan Gibson, Jason Hoff, Darnell Jordan, Lasedrick King, Rashid Leftridge, Cordae Lewis, Deon Lewis, Bishop Liberto, Andrew Lindstrom, Jordan McIlvain, Cody Ozbun, David Raiman, Deionte Randle, J.R. Reid, Trehan Reid and Antwione Sims, Kywan Smith, Derrick Taylor, Lavincent Thomas and Spencer Wiesner.
Coaching Staff: Chris Hampson, Dwayne Byrd, B.J. Brown, Rich Prudzinski, David Raiman Sr. and Eric Willms.
Team Moms: Kim Brown and Michele Combs