E.A. Sports Today

Chasing a title

Anniston youth football team heading to Florida to play in national championship tournament

Quarterback Kyron Malbrough (1) gets the play from coach Quintarius Hutchinson.

By East Alabama Sports Today
A team of 9-year-old Anniston football players is headed to Florida in a couple weeks with visions of winning a national championship dancing in their head.
The undefeated, rarely-scored-upon Anniston Bulldogs of the East Alabama Youth Football League is on their way to the American Youth Football 9U national championship tournament in Kissimmee, Fla., Dec. 7-14.
Head coach Quintarius Hutchinson likes their chances.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “I’m going (there) to win. I don’t know any other way.”
The Bulldogs are 13-0 and have outscored their opponents 444-6, with the only touchdown they allowed coming after two defenders collided with a ballcarrier in their sights. They were so dominant state organizers basically gave them a pass through the regionals to the national tournament.
Their offense is led by quarterback Kyron Malbrough, who Hutchinson calls “the engine” and throws the ball “like a grown man.” Their main weapons are Kelvin Hughley, Armoni Hudson and Malachi Hall. The defense is led by lineman Jacques Goodman and middle linebacker Jamereon Dobbins, their leading tackler.
The rest of Hutchinson’s coach staff includes Clay Hall, Dee Billingsley and Carl Malbrough.
“This team is loaded,” Hutchinson said. “I like our chances. We can play any style of ball. We can play a pound game. We can spread it out all around the field. We can play any style.”
The Bulldogs are guaranteed three games in the tournament and Hutchinson is hoping to incorporate other activities for the players during the trip.
Of course, it takes funding to make such a trip and the team will be out raising money to defray the cost of their championship run. The players will be out in uniform Saturday conducting a couple roadblocks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 15thStreet and Cobb Ave. and 18thStreet and Cooper Ave. Donations also can be made at the City of Anniston.
The players on the Compton, Cal., team heading to the 6U tournament put together similar fundraising campaigns that raised about $700 of their $15,000 target. Their effort received a big boost last week when a pair of NFL cornerbacks, San Francisco’s Richard Sherman and Oakland’s Keisean Nixon, donated a combined $7,000 to the cause.
“I respect good football, but I respect the (required) 3.1 min GPA more,” Sherman wrote on his Twitter feed.
He later told NBC Sports, “I think when any organization, especially sports, focuses on academics first, I can get behind that. … Encouraging those kids to get their education and focus on that early is something that I respect a ton.”

The Anniston Bulldogs are heading to the AYF 9U national tournament in Florida. Top row from left: Kemiij Payne, Meikhi Murray, Damarion Adams, Jacques Goodman, Kyron Malbrough, Dayton Foster, Latrel Allen, Timon Stewart. Bottom row (from left): Nasir Thomas, Shakarious Welch, Kymari Billingsley, Kelvin Hughley, Armani Hudson, Malachi Hall, Jamereon Dobbins, Keshaun Hudson, Julian Ector, Xaman Pope.

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