From zeroes to heroes in football

Pee Wee Jets soar to Pop Warner regional tournament

A football team of 9- to 12-year-olds from Camas and Washougal will represent East County Pop Warner in the quarterfinals of the regional tournament Sunday, at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.

The East County Jets face the Mid-Valley Jaguars, of Harrisburg/Junction City, Ore., at 10 a.m.

The Jets won the Pee Wee Greater Northwest Conference Championship with a 10-0 record. Two years ago, they were 0-10.

The journey to success started when the team formed in 2014, under head coach Jim Callerame. He anticipated it would be a year of growth, since more than half of the team was new to the sport. He focused on the fundamentals of football, developing sound character and having a lot of fun.

Although the team didn’t win a single game that first season, the kids learned how to play through adversity and to never give up. Win or lose, they loved football. A spark was lit.

The players came back in 2015, and brought a few new friends. The Jets improved to 7-3 and finished in third place.

Sunday starts a new journey. The Jets hope to touch down at Disney World and play for the Pop Warner National Championship Dec. 3 to 10, in Orlando.

If the Jets win Sunday, they advance to the semifinals Nov. 12 and 13, in Spokane. The regional championship round will be Nov. 19 and 20, at Doc Harris Stadium, in Camas.

Playing for the Jets are Andrew Andrews, Gage Barber, Austin Boesel, Jack Callerame, Dax Clifton, Quantez Crawford-Kellison, Elijah Dalton, Sean Emberlin, Kacey Gabriel, Jaden Gillett, Shaudez Grant, Parker Hubbard, Trenton Keeler, Conner Murphy, Quinton Patterson, Preston Phillippi, Zachary Phillips, Tyler Reynolds, Lance Stuck and Zachary Woodward. Jim Callerame, Greg Stuck, Brad Clifton, Erin Patterson, Travis Boesel and Shane Woodward are the coaches.

Members of the team are asking for donations and sponsorships to help fund their travel expenses.

For more information, contact Lauren D. Clark at (503) 784-5629 or lauren.dully@gmail.com.