Orange Stingers 12U Team Playing for National Championship

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

Two weeks from now, the Orange Stingers 12U football team hopes to bring back an AAU National Championship.

Just like it did four seasons ago as 8U Champions.

The undefeated Stingers are the Virginia State Champions and are using their previous experience to guide them this time around.

"We know what it's going to take," head coach Brad Crowder said. "Some games are going to be very tight and you gotta dig down even deeper."

"We were a little bit younger. We played some good teams and I'm just hoping we do the same things we did when we were eight," running back Dequece Carter added.

The Stingers are made up of players from five local counties -- Orange, Louisa, Madison, Culpeper and Spotsylvania.

"From my point of view we got the best from every county," Crowder said.

The coach also believes his team's success isn't completely tied to what it does on the field.

"It's kind of like a recipe. We have selflessness, hard work, and integrity. Those things we teach the kids."

The Stingers also have to excel in the classroom. Crowder and his staff have a strict rule in place -- make the grade or sit on the sidelines.

"Grades come first," running back Korey Smith explained. "And Coach Brad really pushes that on this team. If we have a "C" we can't play. He says 'C's mean can't'".

"If they don't have at least a 'C' they won't play until they bring that up," Crowder added. "There's certain things we instill in them now that they're going to have to have at the next level."

For now, that next level is going to Orlando, and bringing another National Championship back to central Virginia.

"We've been talking about championships since August 1," Crowder said. "We're still fighting for that and working hard every day towards that goal."

"It's really intense. I can't wait for it. Good competition. We get to represent Virginia and all that. I think it's pretty cool," Carter added.

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