Warriors ready to run through playoffs

Published 8:04 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

Bennett’s Creek Pop Warner’s junior midget team plays in the Mid-South Regional playoffs against Kernersville (N.C.) at Wilson High School Saturday at 3 p.m. The Warriors won a tiebreaker playoff game, 34-18 over the Hampton Hawkeyes, to win the Southeastern Virginia Pop Warner Div. 2 championship and reach Saturday’s game.

Even NFL teams struggle to get ready, physically and mentally, when faced with a short week, say, a game on Sunday followed by a game on Thursday.

Bennett’s Creek’s junior midget team mastered such a situation a couple weeks ago and in a must-win game to boot.

The Warriors split regular season games against the Hampton Hawkeyes. BC won the first meeting 26-6 before dropping a 20-6 game to the Hawkeyes, leaving a tie for first in the division.

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After the last Saturday of the regular season, the Warriors and Hawkeyes clashed in a tiebreaker game the following Wednesday. Bennett’s Creek won the Southeastern Virginia Pop Warner, Div. 2 title and a postseason berth with a 34-18 win.

“The guys bounced back strong. It was impressive with how prepared they were on such a short week,” said BC head coach Mike Bowles.

The Warriors had only one practice in the short week and it was spent primarily on, Bowles said, the blocking schemes and a long chalkboard session for changes needed for a third contest against Hampton.

“The kids completely picked up on it and executed it well,” Bowles said.

Now with a week and a half of preparation, the Warriors head into the Mid-South Region playoffs. BC faces Kernersville, N.C. at Portsmouth’s Wilson High School Saturday at 3 p.m.

There are 31 Warriors on the roster and perhaps more impressively, Bowles uses a different 11 most of the way on offense and defense. A couple formations the Warriors use call for some guys being two-way players occasionally, but for the most part, the depth of the team means everyone plays and everyone’s fresher in the fourth quarter.

“With our teams here, we’ve always had some good kids with speed, but this team has great team speed overall,” Bowles said.

“11 hats on the ball” is the defensive motto during practice and the speed makes the offense roll, too, as the Warriors use a wishbone attack.

“We have three hard runners. They’re hard to bring down and they’re pretty fast,” Bowles said.

A win Saturday sends the Warriors to the regional championship in Charlotte in two weeks. From there would be a trip to Florida for the National Championship tournament.

The potential trips bring up another coaching concern, but not one about the play on the field.

“We need money. Tell folks that,” Bowles said.

Anyone interested in donating or sponsoring this Warrior team or Bennett’s Creek Pop Warner overall can contact Bowles at 513-6363 or BCFootballAdmin@gmail.com.