Canton, OH--Known for the enshrinement of the best to play in the National Football League, now the host city of the Hall of Fame has a new distinction. It plays host to one of the newest national youth football all-star tournaments, the ‘Canton Classic. In it’s inaugural year, a team from North Texas came out on top.
The Canton Hall of Fame Classic kicked off Thursday December 1st with opening ceremonies and ran through the championship game on Sunday December 4th. Team North Texas beat Indiana and Ohio on Friday and Saturday respectively and earned the tournament crown with a win over Kansas City on Sunday.
“Kansas City was by far the best team we played as they were every bit as big as us with a few key skill positions,” said team director Steve Conner.
North Texas put the game away in the 4th quarter after a fumble recovery and went up by two scores but gave up a late TD with 30 seconds left. But the team from the Dallas metro area comprised over a core from Houston, held on to win. The final score of score was 27-22 North Texas.
Disappointed by a ruling preventing them from playing in the National Championship Tournament, the team quickly regrouped and shifted gears in late October. With talent from the hotbeds of Houston and Dallas combining, the team was really a force to be reckoned with and truly one of the best 8th grade All-star teams in the country as they showed this week in Canton.
Team North Texas (Team Texas 2021) has a massive amount of talent with their biggest challenge being continuity given that they have only practiced twice a month leading up to the tournament. Many on the team hail from the Houston area and have to travel north to Dallas/Ft. Worth region to practice. After a championship in the Hall of Fame City, it seems to have been worth the sacrifice. Here are some additional notes:
Notable Personnel on Team Texas 2021
- 7 FBU All-Americans
o Hayden Conner – TE/DL – 4-time FBU All-American
o Bryce Foster – OL/DL – 2-time FBU All-American
o Kendrick Blackshire – DE/RB – 2-time FBU All-American
o Luis Chavarria – OL/DL – 2-time FBU All-American
o Aidan Siano – LB – FBU All-American
o Majik Rector – RB/WR – FBU All-American
o Caleb Weaver – DB/WR – FBU All-American (didn’t make the trip to Canton)
Kicker Connor Bryan was a perfect addition to the squad
o MVP – the O-line/TE’s led by 3 back-to-back FBU All-Americans
o Led by QB Bronson McLelland
o Stable of backs all with multiple TD’s this weekend:
- Cameron Jones
- Jacob Juarez (FB)
- Majik Rector
- RJ Carver
- Kendrick Blackshire
- Tyler Gainey
o MVP – OLB and the heart of the defense Tyler Gainey
o Anchored by MLB Aidan Siano
o Top Performers
- DE – Kendrick Blackshire
- CB’s – Jeremy Bailey & DeMarco Roberts
- FS – Jordan Covington