Pop Warner teams go to nationalsTwo local Pop Warner football teams are traveling to Orlando, Florida, this week to compete in the national championships.
Both teams won the Pacific Northwest Regional Championship in their age group at Woodside High School on Saturday, Nov. 26.
The Menlo-Atherton Vikings Pee Wees (ages 11-12) defeated the Cowlitz County (Washington) Colts 20-6.
The Redwood City 49ers Junior Pee Wees (ages 10-11) defeated the Evergreen Bulldogs of Vancouver, Washington, 30-0.
Vikings Coach Steve Stenstrom, whose total offense record at Stanford would be topped later in the day by Andrew Luck, saw his team trailing 6-0 after a first-quarter touchdown by the visitors, a hard-hitting, well-coached group from the Longview area.
The Vikings struck back in the second quarter, however, on two touchdown passes from quarterback Blake Stenstrom — 18 yards to Tate Tussing and 63 yards to Jack Devine, who also had an effective run at the quarterback position.
Another touchdown pass — Stenstrom to Tussing in the second half — put the game away for the locals. A placekick conversion by Lucas Andrighetto, who also had a critical first-half interception, added two points to the Vikings total.
Some two dozen Vikings players, their coaches and families will fly to Orlando on Thursday, Dec. 1, prepared for a first-round game on Saturday, Dec. 3. Another game is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6.
If they're successful, the Vikings will play for the national championship the following Friday. ESPN will televise many of the games from the network's iconic Sports Center in Orlando.
The Redwood City 49ers are in Junior Pee Wees Divison II and will play their first game on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Two of the players are students at Woodside Elementary School.
Ryan Amirsehhi of Woodside, a fifth-grader, has played for the Redwood City 49er organization for two years. He plays center on the offensive line, is the team's long snapper, and play defense when needed.
Andre Crooks, a seventh-grader at Woodside Elementary, plays on the red offensive line as fullback and as a lineman on the red defensive line. He has played for the Redwood City 49er organization for five years.
The National Championship Pop Warner games will be streamed online on ESPN3.com.
Jim Gallagher of the Vikings Boosters and Michelle M. Amirsehhi, parent of a 49ers player, submitted this report.==