Redmond players help Eastside Crusaders win junior football title

The Eastside Crusaders won their second junior title in the last three years.  - Courtesy photo
The Eastside Crusaders won their second junior title in the last three years.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Eastside Crusaders Junior Football team capped off a 9-0 season with a 27-0 win over the Mountlake Terrace Hawks on Nov. 2 at Highline Stadium.

The win marks the second time in three years this Crusaders team has captured the title of Northwest Junior Football League champions.

“We just did what we needed to do all season and we got it done,” said Redmond’s Duncan Heger. Other Redmond players are: Alex Coney, Anthony Pella, Jonathan Watson, Max Englehart and Ty Jackson.

The Eastside Crusaders program, which was founded 10 years ago, is organized by age and weight with six levels of play for ages 6-14.

Fifteen of this year’s junior players were part of both the 2011 and 2013 championship teams: David Cody, Coney, Englehart, Mitch Flippo, Heger, Jackson, Dan Leach, Ben Lombardi, Zach Sanidad, Carson Stockwell, Owen Stoutt, Dylan Strode, Watson, Chandler Wills and Andrew Yan.

Flippo, who plays wide receiver, told his parents after the win, “Our team really worked hard from Day One to the last practice to get where we are today.”

Teammate Watson added, “We worked together as a team and came ready to compete every Saturday.”

Over the last three years, the team has compiled a 22-4 record, including playoff games.

The Eastside Crusaders players for the Catholic faith-based team live in Redmond, Federal Way, Carnation, Duvall, Bellevue, Seattle and Sammamish.

The morning after the championship win, assistant coach Jen Heger emailed players and parents, demonstrating the Crusaders’ philosophy:

“A championship in middle school should not and will not be the highlight of these boys’ lives. It is, however, a great template in moving forward. I hope that these young men have learned to work hard with goal oriented determination, bounce back and learn from mistakes, to handle pressure with grace, to have fun, lead, follow, adjust, be part of a larger group and win with both pride and humility. These are traits that will serve them well long after they’ve misplaced their championship medals.”

2013 team statistics

• 256 offensive points

• 25 points scored against

• 7,200 flights of stairs run in 42 practices, equaling two-thirds the height of Mt. Rainier.


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