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Rams and Patriots headed to NRV Super Bowl

By DAVID GRAVELY,
SWT Sports Editor

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 12.28.30 PMFor several years, fans and supporters of youth football have asked for a playoff system to allow young players the chance to play a few more games and earn the right to be called champions.

That dream has now become a reality, and two Pulaski County teams will be playing for the big prize Saturday at Christiansburg High School in the first-ever New River Valley Super Bowl.

The New River Valley Youth Recreation Football League is comprised of teams from Pulaski County, Radford, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Riner
and Eastern Montgomery County. The games are monitored, officiated and supervised by members of each area’s recreation department.

Those teams are further broken down into age divisions. The youngest players, who are in second and third grade, play in the mite league. The junior league features players who are in the fourth and fifth grade. The senior league is the final stop for players before they move on to the middle school level, and features players in the sixth and seventh grade.

In addition to the grade-level requirements, players must meet certain weight requirements to be eligible to play in positions that let them carry, catch or throw the ball. Those who exceed those limits are required to wear an X on their helmets and must play on the line.

The first Pulaski County team to reserve a spot in the title game is the Pulaski Patriots. Coached by Shawn Lawson, the Patriots currently hold an overall record of 7-2-1 and a league record of 5-1-1. On Monday, the Patriots hosted Radford, winning a triple overtime thriller 27-26. The Patriots will now face another Radford team which comes into the game with a perfect 6-0 record. That game will kickoff at 3 p.m.

The Riverlawn Rams, coached by Todd Johnson, will represent Pulaski County in the junior league championship. The Rams have, to put it bluntly, been a dominating force this season, and currently hold a perfect 10-0 overall record and are 8-0 in league play. They are the regular-season champions, and, unlike other age divisions, were forced to play in the first round of the playoffs to defend their right to play for the trophy. Wednesday, they took that challenge and, despite having three key players sidelined with injuries or illnesses, the Rams rolled through Christiansburg on their way to a 28-0 victory. The Rams will now play against Blacksburg in the 1 p.m. game Saturday at Christiansburg High School.

For those who want to make a full day out of it, the mite league championship will begin at 11 a.m. on the same field. That contest will feature the Radford Bobcats and the Christiansburg Blue Demons. There will be a $2 admission charged for the games to help cover the cost of officials.

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