Turlock Youth Football’s Pride teams are well on their way to pushing for a successful season at all four levels.
Last year, the JV Pride had another undefeated season and won the Super Bowl.
They went 10-0 during the regular season and followed up with three postseason wins to tally a 13-0 record for the year.
“We played Livingston, which gave us the biggest run for our money we ever had. We were down in the third quarter and finally went ahead and won the Super Bowl, Livingston was a good football team,” said JV (10-11 years-old) head coach Matt Day.
Now, heading into the 2019 fall season, Day and his team are
extremely optimistic about the opportunity to repeat.
“Peewee team below us won the Super Bowl, so we are carrying kids who won the Super Bowl and we have a great opportunity to repeat,” said Day. “But, like any game, it will take hard work, hard work and playing good football.”
Day said they are excited about Adrian Castro, who is returning.
“These boys have a lot of experience and have a great opportunity to do well this season,” Day added.
Mike Egleston leads the Pride varsity (12-14 years-old) once again after they had a winning season and reached the conference championship game.
They ended up going 9-4 for the year, losing 14-8 in the semifinal.
“We had a lot of injuries, we had about five starters out for that game, but overall we had a good year. We should've gone to the Super Bowl maybe won it,” said Egleston. “This year we have a Super Bowl winning team coming up so our expectations are to win the Super Bowl and we know we will have a target on our back from a lot of teams that have lost to these guys in the past.”
Returning players include Gavin Martinez Durkee and the Bertalotto twins, said Egleston.
The Pride peewee squad and head coach Mike Patterson saw major success last season for the 8-9-year-olds, who went 12-1.
“We only gave up 18 points all season,” said Patterson. “We met the Turlock Bulldogs in the Super Bowl and came out on top. I am so proud of the way our team played together, from the coaches to the players, we had a great season. We have a good group of kids that played last year with us and at the rookie level. So, it's a matter of getting our team in shape and executing. Looking forward to another great year."
The Pride rookies fell to the Bulldogs, 18-0, in the Bud Bowl last year, but learned plenty from it.
“The Bulldog team was good, but we had a good team as well, but we made a lot of mistakes, which is expected for 6-7-year olds,” said head coach Gabe Durkee “We don't keep track of the scores, but we will start at the end of this year because there will be playoffs and Super Bowl for rookie level. We will know how that works at the end of the season, a week or two before the season actually ends.”
With playoffs for the rookies, there could be an extra motivation to win a Super Bowl, but Durkee keeps his focus on more than that one game.
“At this level, one of my goals is to create a love for the
game, I want them to keep playing because 75 percent of kids it is their first
year playing any sort of football,” said Durkee. “So, I want to have them love
the game, not hate it. I teach the fundamentals and basics and get them ready
for the next level, since every level above it gets more competitive and
The first game is slated for Aug. 24.