Warriors ready for war

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 17, 2002

In the final game last season, linebacker Alex Dorsey of the Bennett’s Creek (BC) Pop Warner Junior Pee-Wee Warriors was hurtling himself toward a running back on the Suffolk Steelers.

&uot;When I hit him, we both hit the ground,&uot; recalls Dorsey, 12. &uot;Then my leg broke.&uot;

Fortunately, the leg has healed sufficiently for Dorsey to move up to the BC Pee-Wee league this year. Equip-ped with a steel plate in his leg, he’s ready for some gridiron action.

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&uot;I can’t really feel it,&uot; Dorsey says of the plate. &uot;But I just know that if you tackle a lot of people, you win a lot of games.&uot;

He and the rest of the BC football players (roughly 400 kids ranging from age 5-15 take part in six different divisions) will attempt to tear up opposing Hampton Roads teams from August until September.

Today, however, a special group of guests will visit John Yeates Middle School to take on the little Warriors: The Mo’ Better Jaguars, a New York Pop Warner team sponsored by filmmaker Spike Lee. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, the two teams will do battle in a series of scrimmages.

&uot;They just heard of us,&uot; says BC Vice President Floyd Duggar. &uot;They wanted to come down here and play.&uot;

Pee-Wee running back Derek Wright hopes to sharpen his linecrashing skills against the New Yorkers. &uot;I had three touchdowns last year; this year, I think I’ll get five,&uot; he says. &uot;I’m better than I was last year, because I’ve gotten faster. I think we’ll do really good, because we have a lot of skilled players.&uot;

The players also have a battle cry that pierces the air before each workout session: &uot;A Warrior is a fighter, a fighter is a Warrior. I’m a Warrior from the Creek: Bennett’s Creek.&uot;

Near the JYMS field’s endzone, the Mighty Mite Warriors try out their tackling skills on a black foam dum-my, emblazoned with a picture of a player wearing the number 50.

&uot;Go for it, guys! Smash that thing!&uot; coaches Robert Moore and Ben Huck shout to the players. &uot;Bust number 50!&uot; Time and again, the small players roar ferociously into the dummy, gaining cries of approval from their coaches and teammates.

Gabe Imhof, 8, loves hitting the dummy. &uot;It feels great because you get to hit somebody!&uot; explains the Northern Shores Elementary School student. &uot;Anything that’s about tackling, I like!&uot;

Jamil White, a student at Booker T. Washington Elementary School, hopes that the drill improves his team’s defensive skills. &uot;It’s going to help us tackle hard,&uot; says the running back, 8. &uot;But our offense is really going to be great. I’m going to score a lot of touchdowns this year!&uot;