B-Division Flag Football All-Stars, pictured, front row, left to right: Francisco Anaya, Tommy Johnson, Chase Schriner, Jake Rayner, Zachary Reynolds, Brian Johnson; back row, left to right: Justin White, Coach Rick Copple, David Smith, Blake Phipps, Gabriel Jimenez, Coach Chick Rodriguez, Seth Raborn, Daniel Juarez, and Cameron Shafer.
Special to the Times
BLYTHE - Joe Wine Blythe Recreation B-Division Flag Football All-Stars earned 2nd place honors in the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation Tournament held the second weekend of December.
Coached by Carlos "Chick" Rodriguez and Rick Copple, the team beat Bakersfield 8-0 after a sluggish start, but Blythe's defense played great and kept Bakersfield out of the endzone.
After advancing to the second game, Blythe All-Stars won 16-12 against Duarte, Calif.
"Our team played great game especially since Duarte had the fastest player in the tournament on that team," said Rodriguez, "But we just held them when we had to."
The following day on Sunday, the local all-stars played Riverside Crush. The winner of that game would automatically play in the championship game. Blythe took the early lead by scoring a touchdown and getting the extra point in the first half. Blythe All-Stars went into halftime with an 8-0 lead.
The second half started off with a 35-yard pass from Jake Rayner to David Smith bringing the score to 14-0.
"Our defense, led by Seth Rayborn, dominated the Crush," said Rodriguez. "He (Rayborn) played his heart out on defense -so did Daniel Jaurez. He led the team in taking flags the entire tournament."
After shutting out the Crush, Blythe All-Stars advanced to the championship game against Azusa.
Beginning the game with the ball first, Blythe got the ball to the 3-yard line but was unable to make the plays to score.
"We lost the opportunity in the game," said Rodriguez. "After that Azusa played tough the rest of the game."
The opponents scored early in the fourth quarter after both teams had remained scoreless throughout the game. Azusa took a 7-0 lead and Blythe was never able to recover. Losing in the championship game by one score.
"Rick and I were very impressed by the way we played and it was an honor for us to have coached them," said Rodriquez.
Rodriguez and Copple thanked the parents for their support.
"The kids are a reflection of their parents and we congratulate them," said Rodriguez. "I'm very proud to be from Blythe with all the support of the community and the support of Tacy (Copple) at Blythe Joe Wine Recreation and all the contributors who helped us on our journey."
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by:
I am so proud of my son Jake and all of the boys on the team!! They played there hearts out. It is nice to see how much talent we have in our small community. Our team coming from Blythe and winning teams from the bigger cities is a huge accomplishment. Thanks to the coaches and all the parents and families who supported our boys.