Post-season play in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Child, Youth, and School Services Sports Program concluded with its junior tackle football and junior soccer teams progressing to Installation Management Command Europe Region championship games, with one winning it all.
The Stuttgart Cowboys tackle football team defeated the Bamberg Jaguars 14-6 on Nov. 13 in Bamberg to garner the title of IMCOM-E Junior Tackle Football Champions. The Cowboys went into half-time down 6-0 to the Bamberg team.
“It was a hard-fought game and [the Cowboys] pulled it together and came back,” said Caitlin Smith, sports and fitness director of USAG Stuttgart CYS Services.
“Their great attitudes and leadership really showed through, having had such strong wins in the West region and then facing the Bamberg team. They worked hard this year and really deserved [the win],” she said.
The Cowboys beat the Mannheim Mustangs 36-14 in division play on Nov. 6 to earn the title of IMCOM-E West Junior Champions. The Cowboys finished the season 9-0, having beaten most opponents by more than 20 points and shutting out teams in five of the seven regular season games, according to Cowboys Head Coach Kenneth McDaniel.
“The season was unbelievable for a brand-new team just getting into the league,” said Leroy Davis, Stuttgart Cowboys offensive coordinator. “Even if we hadn’t won this year, it was mostly about teaching them to tackle, run routes — the fundamentals. Winning was the icing on the cake.”
The taste of victory was certainly sweet for Davis’ son, Cowboys running back Kingston Davis, 13, and teammate Xavier McLean-Burrell, 12, both students at Robinson Barracks Elementary/Middle School.
“The key was the team’s heart,” said Davis, a seventh-grader who scored 27 touchdowns this season. “We never gave up and if something happened, we always kept cool heads and played hard.”
McLean-Burrell, who played cornerback, said he proudly brought both of his championship trophies to school on the Monday following the Nov. 13 game. “It has been exciting and fun, and it feels like I’ve built a brotherhood with my teammates,” the sixth-grader said.
McDaniel said the team’s inaugural season couldn’t have ended on a higher note. “By far, our team had the smallest physical size of any of the other teams in the division, yet every child with a Cowboys uniform on contributed,” he said.
“Individually, I hope all the kids look back and realize how much hard work and sacrifice pay off. ‘One team, one goal’ was our motto and we accomplished our goal,” he added.
The CYS Services junior soccer team (ages 13-15), coached by Kwesi Adinkrah, represented USAG Stuttgart in the IMCOM-E West Championships held Nov. 13 in SHAPE, Belgium, Smith said.
The team progressed to the division championships after winning an in-house tournament among six junior teams in USAG Stuttgart, Smith said.
However, the Stuttgart team lost both of its games, and no West Division champion was determined, since the second day of games was cancelled due to inclement weather, she said.
Even with the losses, CYS Services Sports and Fitness Director Smith said the soccer season was a great one. She noted, too, that there were nearly 900 local youngsters who participated in CYS Services soccer this season.