The Christmas season will be a little more special for 12-under football players from Calhoun, Ga. and East Ridge, this year.
On Saturday, Dec. 22, the Calhoun 12-under Yellow Jackets and the East Ridge Mustangs will meet up at 1 p.m. in the Georgia Dome as part of the D.L. Scott Coalition Bowl.
The two teams are a part of an extravaganza of football that will feature six youth games and two high school senior all-star games created by Dr. David L. Scott of Atlanta.
AstroTurf executive Scott Fletcher coaches the Calhoun squad and helps on the high school staff.
The East Ridge team is coached by Chattanooga area sports personality Stump Martin and plays in the Scenic City League in Chattanooga where the Mustangs made it to the Super Bowl before losing to the East Ridge Pioneers.
“I want to thank Dr. David L. Scott for this opportunity,” Mr. Martin said. “The good doctor does a lot for the youth. Can you imagine being 12-years-old and ending your season playing a super team in the Georgia Dome? This is a dream for all of these kids. Shoot, this is a dream for me.”
The Mustangs are 14-5 for the season and have added three East Ridge Pioneers to the roster for the game after losing some players at the end of the season.
“It’s been tough working practices around basketball, wrestling, school plays, concerts and chorus,” Mr. Martin said. “We’re well rounded, we have athletes, thespians, musicians and believe it or not some of them can sing. I just hope we play inspired football against Calhoun Saturday.”
Mr. Martin’s team is made up of East Ridge and North Georgia players who play for the East Ridge Parks and Recreation.
Mr. Fletcher’s team was the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association North Georgia District Champions and GRPA State Semi-finalist, losing in overtime to Lee County.
The Yellow Jackets have outscored their competition this season 164-19 and have many of the team members who were a part of the GRPA state championship team in 2011.
"This team is a special group of kids and has been a joy to coach,” Mr. Fletcher said. “These kids represent all the right things in youth today ... great parents, good character, respect for others, and a love for their teammates.”
Mr. Fletcher said he and the team are thankful for the opportunity to play in the Georgia Dome and compete against a fine East Ridge team.
“These kids have grown up watching our Calhoun High School team play many times for the state championship in the Georgia Dome, so, this for them is somewhat of a dream come true and we appreciate all of the Georgia Dome officials and game organizers for making this a reality for our kids."
Mr. Fletcher said the love for football in Calhoun and the success head coach Hal Lamb has brought to the school drives the local sports community.
"Football is special in Calhoun,” he said. “Calhoun Football is really a big part of most everyone's life here. Coach Lamb and his entire staff work hard to support our youth recreation efforts. They have placed an emphasis on the early development of correct football fundamentals, but more importantly, correct character values in these young men.”
The Yellow Jackets and Mustangs will play the sixth game of the day. The game will be followed by the North vs. Central Senior All-star game and the East vs. West Atlanta Metro All-star game.