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All City Football Youth Sports

All-City Best Youth Team: Long Beach Patriots 11U

After an unforgettable high school football season in Long Beach, perhaps the most memorable moment came from a group of middle schoolers playing on one of the sport’s biggest stages. The Patriots 11U team out of Long Beach got the chance to play at SoFi Stadium for their Snoop Dogg Super Bowl XVI championship, dominating their rival Baldwin Hills, 25-6.

The Patriots defense allowed just one first down in the entire first half, and Long Beach also scored on its first play from scrimmage, a 15-yard TD pass from Theodore Watkins Jr. to Derrick Jackson. It was the start of quite a game for Jackson, who scored three touchdowns on just six touches, including an 81-yard TD run to give the Patriots a 19-0 halftime lead. The Patriots were in control the entire game, finishing off an undefeated season in impressive fashion to claim the Super Bowl title.

“This means a lot for these kids,” said Patriots coach Prentice Jones. “For them to put their trust in us, then we go undefeated and come and win a championship? It means everything to me, because it really is about the kids. Look how happy they are.”

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As athletes begin to specialize in a sport or even a position within a sport at earlier and earlier ages, the era of the multisport star has largely come to a close. It's no longer the norm for the city dominant high school athletes to earn Player of the Year consideration in multiple sports the [...]

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.