The Valley Stream Green Hornets won their third consecutive New York metropolitan championship game on Dec. 2, when the team beat the Jersey-City based Hudson County Dolphins 18 – 14 for the 2017 Amateur Athletic Union New York Metro Football championship title. The 2016 team won the Long Island/New York City Football League championships, and the 2015 team won the Nassau/Suffolk Football League championships.
“If we had these past three teams, we could beat any high school team out there,” said Varsity Head Coach and President of the Valley Stream Green Hornets Bobby Hawkey.
This year’s team, comprised of 22 12 to 14 year olds, had not faced the Hudson County Dolphins prior to the championship game and did not know what to expect, Hawkey said. But within the first two minutes of the game, the Hornets were already ahead by two points and, by half time, their lead increased to 18 to zero.
Valley Stream native Samarki Williams, 13, helped increase this lead as the running back. He scored one touchdown early in the game then hurt his knee, only to return to the game and score another touchdown.
“It was nice for me because I heard there were scouts watching from good schools, and I want to go to good schools,” Williams, who also played wide receiver for Memorial Junior High School this year, said, adding that he could not have scored the touchdown if his teammates were not blocking the opposing team for him.
The second half of the game was more difficult, however, according to Hawkey. He said that the Dolphins came back stronger in the second half, and scored 14 points. “With under a minute to go, they were marching down the field,” Hawkey said. “But we stopped them on about the five yard line.”
This was the first year that the Hornets could compete in the playoff games, as Hawkey, Richie Wendt, Dwayne Colbert and Flash Russo formed the Metropolitan Region last spring so that Long Island teams could compete teams from New Jersey and from other states throughout the country.
“It feels good to be an AAU champion in our first year that we’re with them,” said Richard Wendt, the vice president of the Hornets. “I feel honored,” he said.
Their win ensures the team a spot at the national AAU championship games in Florida from Dec. 15 through Dec. 16, but Hawkey said the team does not have the funds to travel to Florida.