2 Pittsburg youth football teams beat the odds, head to west coast championship

"Everyone thought that we were going to fail in this league. We ended up going undefeated."

ByAnser Hassan via KGO logo
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
2 Pittsburg youth football teams head to west coast championship
EMBED <>More Videos

Two Pittsburg youth football teams beat the odds, and will be heading to the west coast regional championship in the American Youth Football league.

PITTSBURG, Calif. (KGO) -- They may be small, but Pittsburg's MEGA Under 10 youth football team has been beating the odds with big plays.

"We were underdogs coming into this league. Everyone thought that we were going to fail in this league. We ended up going undefeated. We ended up winning the championship, too," explains Quarterback Kaelen Gonzalez.

On Saturday, Gonzelez led the team to a Northern California championship in the American Youth Football league, the largest youth football league in the world.

"I just picture me playing catch with my dad sometimes, on the field, and that just helps me get the ball out good," says Gonzalez, who is 11-years-old.

Their MEGA Under 13 counterparts won their northern California division as well.

"This season has been going good. The beginning, we have been doing really good. We only lost one time," says Yamil Guiton, MEGA U13 Quarterback.

MORE: Goal! Hometown youth soccer players head to international tournament

He describes the season highlight as: "Beating the teams that talk the most trash!"

Both MEGA teams are now headed to next weekend's West Coast regional championship in their respective age group.

"These kids put the work in. We preach to them every day: You work hard, you put the work in and good things happen," says Coach Dominic Cardinalli, with MEGA U13.

What's happened is Coach Cardinalli has coached these young kids to a second championship in two years, in a league they just joined two years ago.

Some say, these wins are huge, but add that these wins aren't just about football.

MORE: 'The Lost Season': Follow college recruiting journey of Bay Area athletes amid COVID-19 pandemic

"The community of Pittsburg, first of all, is one that is in need of wins, if you will. So, football has always been our thing in Pittsburg," says Jared Rubio.

Rubio coaches the Pittsburg Jr. Pirates in another league, where his teams won leagues championships last week, as well. He says, win or lose, football offers all these kids a chance to set out on a goal.

"So, if you have a rough life at home, and things are necessarily easy for you, to come out and be able to win on the football field, and walk away with a smile on your face, it does mean the world to these boys," says Coach Rubio.

Next weekend, the teams compete for West Coast domination. If they win, they earn a spot to play for the national championship in Florida.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live