Raptors football celebrates first season with a Super Bowl win
Enthusiastic players, coaches and parents helped make the inaugural season of the third grade Raptors team an undefeated success.
By Lynne Marsala Basche; photos courtesy of Mandy Krause
It was the kind of season that players, coaches and parents will remember long after the football and uniforms are put away for the winter. The Raptors players powered the team through the inaugural season straight to a Super Bowl victory.
Not only was it the first year for Raptors football (formerly the Dolphins), it was also the first year for almost all of the boys on the third grade team to play tackle football. Sixteen out of the 18 players had never played before this season. Most of the players were eight years old with a few playing up, and they all came from the Castle Pines and Castle Rock area.
With a total of eight regular season games, the Raptors played other Arapahoe Youth League teams, such as Eagles-South Denver, Cherry Creek Bruins, Parker Hawks, South Aurora Spartans, North Aurora Stallions, Highlands Ranch Warriors and the Littleton Thunder. With enthusiasm and dedication rarely seen in players this age, the Raptors team went undefeated.
The Raptors were presented with the Arapahoe Youth League trophy after their spectacular Super Bowl victory against the Spartans.
“What was surprising is how the boys were able to relate and understand the game and schemes that the coaches put together,” said coach and Raptors athletic director of football Carlos Aragon. “As the season went on, they were able to understand why we had certain plays and why we didn’t. This group of boys is very special, and I tell everyone that they are only eight years old, but play like they are twelve!”
Under the guidance of coaches Kirk Bowman, Jeff Genuario, Rob Smith, Todd Peterson, Paul Capulong and Aragon, the Raptors saw victory in the playoff game and headed to the Super Bowl against the South Aurora Spartans. The mood at South High School rivaled any professional game, and the Raptors dominated the Spartans with a 45-8 win.
“There were so many things that made this team special,” said Castle Pines resident and parent Mandy Krause. “Our coaches were so dedicated to our kids, and none of them get paid for what they do. The boys learned so much about football, but mostly they learned about respecting their coaches and teammates and what it means to be a true team player.”
- According to Aragon, assuming the players want to continue, they will remain on the same team until they enter high school. Staying together is just fine with players Caden Krause and James Cross, who both noted that their favorite things about the season were the coaches and winning. Way to go Raptors!