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North Kitsap Pee Wee White brings home the win | Pee Wee Football
POULSBO — They are the champions ... of the 15 North Kitsap Pee Wee C-level football teams.
On Nov. 8 on the fields at South Kitsap High School the NK Pee Wee White, a team of 23 9- and 10-year-olds defeated Chico, 12-0, to win the Kitsap Peninsula Pee Wee Association championships.
It’s been eight years since the NK Pee Wee White has won the championship game, and players, parents and coaches celebrated harder than the Democrats on election night.
“Everyone was jumping around. The parents were on the field. It was a great experience to see the smiles on the (boys’) faces,” recalled head coach Eric Milyard. “Everything we’d worked hard for came to a head. We’d achieved our team goals. It was a great feeling. I wish anybody who’s done this could experience something like that.”
They had reason to celebrate. The white won three playoff games in a row, on Nov. 1, 5 and 8, and only gave up six first downs between the three games.
Pee Wee White began practicing the second week of August. For the last three months the boys hit the fields four nights a week for one-and-a-half to two hours. Milyard said the entire team worked “really hard,” and winning the championships was one of their season goals.
“That’s what they worked for all year,” Milyard said.
In order to reach their season’s pinnacle the White had to defeat two teams they’d previously lost to — North Perry and Chico.
On Oct. 18 Chico defeated the White 24-14 and a week later on the 25th North Perry defeated the White 8-0.
Milyard said NP has a huge team and he didn’t think the White was ready for a team stacked with big players. The second go-round they were ready.
The White faced off against NP in the semifinals on Nov. 5 at Givens Field and shutout NP by the exact same score, 8-0.
Milyard said the game was tough and the White was plagued with penalties. The White would be moving the ball and be in a position to score and then a penalty would occur.
“Then we put a good drive together and didn’t make any mistakes and we scored,” Milyard said. “The defense just shut them out and didn’t give them anything.”
Kole Milyard scored the touchdown on a one-yard run and Chase Bauer made the two-point kick.
Next it was the White’s chance to claim redemption against Chico.
It was a windy Saturday and the score was knotted 0-0 with less than a minute to go in the first half. Then from about 20-yards out quarterback Cole Rabedeaux snuck in.
The White ran the same play a few minutes before, but one of Chico’s corners tackled Rabedeaux. What changed the second time out was Joey Regan’s observant defensive play. Regan made a key block on the corner and the outcome was a touchdown.
“It was just great blocking,” Milyard said. “The kids blocked well. It was a total team effort.”
He said after the first touchdown the kids were pumped and really started to believe they could win it all. At the half they were “higher than a kite” as they tried to settle down and eat orange slices.
The kids had been putting pressure on Chico’s quarterback all day, tallying six or seven sacks. Then in the fourth quarter as Chico passed the ball the White got a hand on it and Regan was ready for the interception, running it back to the four-yard line.
On the next play Milyard said the kids really wanted the touchdown. The offensive line made a big surge, pushing Chico back. Kole Milyard got behind the line and from four yards out ran in the touchdown.
“They were so excited I had to calm them down and let them know we still had some time left to play,” Milyard said.
The White’s football season is now over, and some of the stars will turn out for Pee Wee basketball. Of the 23, 12 are eligible to play with the White next year.
“When everybody works together good things come out of it,” said Milyard who’s been to the championships three times and this year was his first win.