It’s a rivalry like no other in youth football. Two of Greater Miami Pop Warner’s winningest programs got together Saturday for a slate of very rainy games with the Liberty City Optimist organization coming out on top winning the day of games 4-3. The Gwen Cherry Bulls played host and got off to a great 6-0 start as their Jr. Pee Wee beat Liberty City 6-0 behind the coaching of Charles White.
The Mitey Mites for Gwen Cherry picked right up where the Jr. Pee Wees left off and scored a 14-0 victory over the 9U team from Liberty City. Afterward, head coach J.V. Ferguson was insistent that his team would be anything moving.
Liberty City got on the board with a victory at the highest age class, the Midgets who max out weight at 170 pounds. The Warriors 9th grader was too much in the speed department. Remember No. 20, he will be heard from again and is currently enrolled at Miami Carroll City High School where coach Bramwell scored a big victory over Miami Northwestern on Friday night. Final score, Liberty City 8-0 over Gwen Cherry.
In addition, in perhaps the grudge match of the day, the 80 pound (Bandits) ‘Jack Boys’ from Liberty City beat the highly touted ‘Swag Boys’ from Gwen Cherry. Both of these teams will likely meet again in the Sean Taylor Classic, which is Greater Miami Pop Warner’s Super Bowl. The Jack Boys scored an improbable 7-0 win over the swag and noted youth football head coach, Corey Smith. Smith coached Pop Warner legends like Joe Yearby who is a junior at Miami Central High School (one of the nation’s top teams).
In Jr. Bandit action (70 pound), Liberty City’s one score was enough to get the victory over the Gwen Cherry team who won the super bowl in 2011. The final score was 6-0 in Junior Bandit action. This game is where the rain was the biggest factor. Both teams were nearing the end of the third quarter when torrential rain showers began to fall, forcing everyone to take cover under the pavilions at Gwen Cherry Park in Miami, Fla. After an hour delay and in lighter rain, the game resumed. Liberty City’s one touchdown was enough to get the win. The team remains undefeated on the year.
Getting into the action with the 13U 8th graders were the Junior Midgets. Coach Joe Narcise, a former Liberty City Warrior Pop Warner national champion competed in his second year of coaching at Gwen Cherry. His team is stacked with players all over Miami-Dade county, including many from the city of Miami Gardens which is near the Broward County line and a drive from the Liberty City area. His opponent, coach “D” from Liberty City had already suffered losses that were unexpected, but were looking to bounce back. It wasn’t going to happen. Gwen Cherry’s junior midgets were victorious 26-0.
The day’s final game was perhaps its best. Coach Robert Jones and his undefeated Pee Wee team took on coach Sean Horne and his powerful rushing attack. Jones has been to the Pop Warner National Championship tournament as a Liberty City Warrior the past two years. Horne, a former Gwen Cherry Bull, had spent the previous two seasons three season at the Northside Panthers organization in the South Florida Youth Football League.
With weather playing a role, Jones got the better of Horne and won the Pee Wee finale of the day of games giving Liberty City the series win with a 15-6 victory.
Overall, it’s a Hotbed World and Football Hotbed was there to cover the biggest day of games in Pop Warner so far this season. Both teams have a lot of positives and plenty to improve upon before playoff time. At the end of the day, the question will be, who is battle tested enough to head up the road in December.