No need to clean your glasses or get an eye exam. You read that 110% right. The 5th and 6th Grade Magazine Rattlers are the 2019 WCFL Champions. The Rattlers earned their first Championship gold in a hard-fought 18-8 victory against the Mansfield Tigers on Saturday, November 9th. Some may see that as a simple fluke to some outside of Magazine territory, but to the Rattler faithful it was a foreseen conclusion. The Rattlers are in the beginning stages of building a program to become a prominent powerhouse from Little League all the way to High School level. With an appearance in the WCFL Championship game last year and winning the Championship this year, Magazine is pushing closer and closer to that goal.
After winning the WCFL Championship game, Head Coach Charly Moua said “Overall, it was a great championship game played by both sides. Our team started out a little slow but we managed to find a way to win the game. I believe that due to last year’s loss in the Championship game to Hackett, our fifteen returning players were a little more nervous than usual. Mansfield improved a lot from the last time we met them in week 3. They did a lot of things on defense differently from the last time we met resulting in us having to punt on our first two possessions.”
“But we adjusted after a long touchdown run by the Tigers. By halftime, everyone in the stands should have known that this game would be on the shoulders of our running back Cha Kong Yang and Mansfields running back Dawson Robinson. These two players played great and separated themselves away from the others. Our defense did great by forcing a lot of fumbles. Defensive lineman Alan Downs had a great night with multiple tackles for loss and for putting tons of pressure on Mansfield’s backfield.”
The 5th and 6th Grade Rattlers not only went undefeated at 8-0, but they also outscored their opponents 164-20 in the regular season. They didn’t play an easy schedule either. The Rattlers faced Lavaca, Hackett, Mansfield, Mountainburg, Cedarville, and JC Westside during the regular season this year. If that’s not an achievement in itself, Magazine also played Hackett in the Playoffs where the Rattlers won 22-12 and then turned around and beat Mansfield 18-8 to win the WCFL Championship. The 5th and 6th Grade Rattlers undoubtedly set a new standard this season for WCFL Football.
5th and 6th Grade Assistant Coach Cody Shelton said “Those boys left absolutely everything on that field in order to make history and become the very first Magazine team to ever go undefeated and win the Championship. They went out, played their tails off, and now they can call themselves Champions, and no one can take that away from them!”
Magazine High School Head Coach and WCFL President Doug Powell said “The Magazine Little League program is moving into never before seen territory. We have the potential to be year in and year out competitors for the Championship. We play in a league that is packed with talented programs that could beat anyone on any day. As balanced as our league is, I see opportunities for every program to reach the Playoffs and the Championship. As for this years’ Championship game, hats off to Mansfield. Both sides played great. I doubt anyone was ever calm during that game. It was honestly one of the best matches between two teams I’ve seen at any level.”
“I am proud of our players. I watched their disappointment last year as they lost to Hackett in the Championship. They fell behind early in Saturday’s game but didn’t lose faith in themselves. I have seen many teams crumble under that kind of pressure, but our guys dug in and kept working to overcome bad situations in order to achieve their goal. I saw their heart and desire to win while they relentlessly pursued their goal. This group was a team that wanted to win. Thank you to everyone involved in our program this year for all of the hard work you put into making this an awesome season for these players. It was fun to watch them play and I look forward to coaching them as they move into Jr High and Sr High football at Magazine.”