6th-grade Lions take title
The city's recent string of football success continued this month as the Lansing Lions, a sixth-grade football team in the National Youth Sports Sanctioning Organization, captured the national championship at the Youth Sports Inc. fields in Lawrence.
The Lions knocked off the Topeka 49ers, 14-0, to capture the crown Nov. 14 after defeating the La Vista (Neb.) Seahawks, 42-0, in their semifinal game.
It was the Lions' first national title after winning the Kaw Valley League championship each of the past two years.
"This year we were fortunate that the regional and national tournaments were in Lawrence," said Lions coach Walt Terron. "It was our goal to finish high in the national tournament because it was in our back yard.
"We'd won the league title the last two years, so this year the kids set their sights on the national title, and I'll be darned if they didn't do it."
The Lions earned a berth in the national tournament by placing second at the Labor Day Tournament. Next they improved their seed by finishing third in a regional tournament. The field at nationals included teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, but none could quite match the Lions. Their defense, which allowed only four touchdowns all season, held strong throughout nationals as they brought home the championship.
"We've been together three years, and these kids have done something amazing every year," Terron said. "This was fun because it was the last year we get to play together. Now they get to go play junior high ball."