ROCKETS ZOOM INTO POP WARNER SUPER BOWL
By Space Coast Daily // December 5, 2012
Unbeaten Midgets Team Plays For National Title
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – The only team from Brevard County to ever win a Pop Warner National Championship came from Palm Bay. Now it might happen all over again.
At 3:30 p.m. Friday, the Palm Bay Rockets Midgets Division youth football team will look to make history when it takes on the Grand Snakes of Peoria, Ariz. in the Pop Warner Midget Division II Super Bowl at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee.
The unbeaten Rockets continued their winning ways on Tuesday, halting the West Lynn, Mass. Rams, 18-6, to secure a berth in Friday’s national title game.
Way back in 2001, a forerunner of the Rockets program — the South Brevard Cougars – defeated the Gilroy, Calif. Browns 40-14 to win the Pop Warner Jr. Midgets Division II national championship.
Many of the players on that Cougars team went on to play high school football and some became stars of their prep teams like running backs Stephon Mercer (Palm Bay) and T.J. Clark (Melbourne).
Now history might be ready to repeat itself all over again.
After capturing the East Coast Conference and Southeastern Regional titles, Palm Bay knocked off the North Raleigh N.C. Bullodgs,28-8, on Saturday at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports to advance to the national semifinals against West Lynn.
Suiting up for the Rockets in the national championship game will be Leontrae Bawgus, Donovan Bemiller, Josh Boone, Owen Cavanaugh, William Champion, Collins Combs, Kaleb Dempsey, Dylan Gibson, Demetrius Harris, Jason Hoff, Darnell Jordan, Lasedrick King, Rashid Leftridge, Cordae Lewis, Deon Lewis, Bishop Liberto, Andrew Lindstrom, Jordan McIlvain, Cody Ozbun, David Raiman, Deionte Randle, J.R. Reid, Trehan Reid and Antwione Sims, Kywan Smith, Derrick Taylor, Lavincent Thomas and Spencer Wiesner.
Chris Hampson serves as the Rockets head coach. Dwayne Byrd, B.J. Brown, Rich Prudzinski, David Raiman Sr. and Eric Willms are team assistant coaches.
Besides the Rockets and the Cougars, the 2010 Merritt Island Mustangs Jr. Midgets squad are the other Brevard County Pop Warner to reach the national championship game. Merritt Island was beaten in that national final by another Arizona squad, the Far West Jets.