Coastside Pop Warner held its annual end-of-season awards event on Nov. 6, Election Day, which was appropriate for a bunch of scrappy young winners.
Team president Danny Dimas praised a small, inexperienced and young squad of players who “took their lumps” but also took a necessary step toward later success on the gridiron.
Dimas was particularly impressed with players on the Junior Varsity team, 11- to 13-year-olds, some of whom will move up to Half Moon Bay High School and play with the big boys next year.
That group included P.J. Modena, who was “all-everything” for the team, Dimas said, and Peter Valdez who starred on both sides of the ball. The team was also buoyed by an influx of Little League baseball players who have had a lot of success on the diamond but were making their first strides on the gridiron.
“They did not disappoint,” he said. “They excelled. And they are really excited to get them at the high school next year.” Dimas had special praise for brothers Ryan and Liam Harrington.
“You know, we have a smaller pool of players than they do in San Jose,” Dimas said. “So, we have fewer numbers and our players are smaller, but there are grittier in my opinion.
“That’s just how it is in Half Moon Bay,” he said. “They gained a lot of valuable experience.”
That was perhaps particularly true for the Junior Pee Wee team of 8- to 11-year-olds. Because there were only enough players for one team, the youngest kids played with 11-year-olds who were much more developed and further along with their football skills.
“They played with the older kids and they really stepped up,” Dimas said.