Tiny Indians squads to play for nationals

Tiny Indians squads to play for nationals
December 05
00:00 2014
(pictured above:  A coach holds up the Tiny Indians Cadets’ DII AYF trophy last year.)

The Winston-Salem Tiny Indians figure to be well-represented when the American Youth Football (AYF) National Championships begins on Sunday in Kissimmee, Fla. Three Tiny Indians teams will compete for titles in Division II in this weeklong tournament, which runs Dec. 7-12.

The Cadets team has fond memories of this event. As defending national champs, there’s much excitement about getting the opportunity to win back-to-back championship trophies.


The only blemishes on an 8-2 record are losses to the South Fork Panthers, who are playing in the Division I nationals. Based on this season’s results, the Indians Cadets got an invite to Florida to defend their Division II crown from 2013.

Five players return from the championship squad, but there are also 10 newcomers who have stepped up over the course of the season. “For our new people, it’s been an unbelievable turnaround since the start of the season,” said Coach Fred Brown. “They started from ground zero. Now they know what to expect and they do not skip a beat.”

The Indians get the job done with a productive cast of two-way players. When they go to their passing game, quarterback Zen Sadler hooks up frequently with Zion Dixon. The ground game features Frederick Brown Jr. and Wesley Cain.

The defense is formidable with linemen Iyacht Clark and Lekendro Pollard setting the tone. In the secondary, Lance Patterson has put up stellar numbers. He has 11 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

Junior Pee Wees

The unexpected absence of its veteran head coach has become a rallying cry. During the opening weeks of the season, Steve Carter was forced to step down because of a heart attack which required a triple-bypass operation. As things turned out, another medical issue surfaced and Carter had to undergo brain surgery.

In Carter’s absence, assistant coach Anthony Morrison was asked to assume command. The Junior Pee Wees responded positively in posting a 7-2 record since Morrison took over. In the meantime, the team decided to dedicate its season to Carter, who has started the arduous process of recovery.

“He’s on everybody’s mind,” said Morrison, whose team received a wild-card bid after losing 19-6 to Dale City (Va.) in the AYF Atlantic Regionals. “At the end of every practice and the end of every game, we remember him. We come together and pray and then we end with the chant “1-2-3 Steve!”

Offensively, David Eldridge IV and Cam’ron Russell lead the way on the front line. The Indians are well-stocked at the skill positions with Tyress McIntyre, Jaquan Kelly, Andre Campbell, Christian Sutton, Treshawn Stewart and Devin Plater.

On defense, Khiyree McKey, Damilyon Monroe, Quentin Deloatch, Rahiem Miller, Shelton Davis and Sutton are the anchors on the line. Campbell spearheads the linebacking corps and Terry Leak Jr. has had a productive year at cornerback.

Talli Price has emerged as the team’s ultimate utility performer. Price plays every position on offense except running back and wide receiver. On defense, he gets his share of playing time at linebacker and defensive back.

Pee Wees

Back in August, it wasn’t clear if the Indians would even have a squad in this division (11-12 age group). Initially, only nine players signed up. But in the weeks leading up to the start of the season, more players came on board to comprise an 18-player roster.

“This is a special group,” said Coach William Hardy Sr., whose team is 6-2. “All year long, it’s been a collective effort. They’re disciplined and they listen. We brought in five 9-year-old players and mixed them in with the older players. So that shows how we had to piece things together.”

The Pees Wees turned in dominant performances in the PYCFL playoffs (defeated Grayhounds 37-0) and the AYF state championship game (19-7 victory over the Northside Hurricanes).

Dual-threat quarterback Caron Crawford and running back D.J. Moyer are the key elements for an offense that averages 32 points per game. Linebackers Amir Branch and Chansea Williams lead the defense.

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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