YORK — The York 10U Little Cougars of the Southland Youth Football League defeated the Bulldogs of Charlotte 20-12 in Saturday’s Carolina Bowl playoff action.
Deshawn Brown paced the Little Cougars with 89 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving and three touchdowns. Frank Thompson had 92 yards rushing for the winning Cougars, and quarterback Cody Benfield had 43 yards passing and scored a touchdown.
Thompson led the defensive charge for the Little Cougars with seven tackles.
“I am proud of our kids for the win over the Bulldogs,” said coach Shane Benfield. “They showed how successful a York team can be in Southland Youth Football League play.
“Charlotte is a big city. It’s really an impressive win.”
In other Carolina Bowl playoff action, the Blue Eagles’ 12U team defeated the Little Cougars 36-0 and the Bulldogs bested the Little Cougars 42-0 in 8U action.
Benfield, a York Little Cougars organizer and promoter, in addition to serving as head coach for the 10U team, said the York teams got off to a belated start in the Southland Youth Football League.
“Our preparations began the second week in August,” he said. “Preparations for the other league teams began in the spring. They have spring practice like the high schools.”
Benfield said the York Little Cougar teams will get off to an early start next season, with four local teams participating in the 6U, 8U, 10U and 12U age divisions.
“That’s 88 starting positions available in the four divisions, beginning next season,” he said.
Benfield, a former York Comprehensive High School quarterback, said Little Cougar teams employ the same offensive and defensive schemes used by the varsity Cougars, which have been ranked in the top-10 last season and most of this season.
“It’s an easier version than the varsity team uses,” he said.
With the late start to the 2013 season, York Little Cougars had teams competing in three divisions, 8U, 10U and 12U, with 10U players doubling up to help the 12U team with a shortage of players.
Benfield said York Little Cougar organizers are working closely with Carolyn Leake, director of the York Parks and Recreation Department.
“If kids aren’t getting enough playing time, we will transfer them to a York Rec youth football team to gain more playing time,” said Benfield.
Leake agreed. “We will work with the York Little Cougars to make the football experience better for both leagues,” she said.
While Benfield foresees greater participation and more widespread appeal next year, there’s still a lot on the table before this season winds down.
A York Little Cougar awards banquet will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at the York Comprehensive High School cafeteria, during which coaches will submit all-star selections.
“We want our older kids to compete on a bigger platform,” Benfield said.
The season will end with Southland Division playoff championship games Nov. 16 at the York Comprehensive High School football stadium.