Sound Mind Sound Body Youth All-Star Game
On Saturday April 22nd, football players suited up at the Big House on the campus of the University of Michigan. But these weren’t the Michigan players that were getting ready to play. These were Detroit PAL kids. Sound Mind Sound Body presented the Battle at the Big House which featured the East vs. the West in an All-Star game. There were three youth all-star games played which featured 10 and under, 12 and under and 14 and under. This was a tremendous opportunity for the players to have a chance to play at one of the most famous college stadiums in the country. You could see the excitement on the players faces as they walked out of the tunnel and onto the field.
Family and friends had the opportunity to watch some of the best players in PAL go head to head on the gridiron. The first game to kick off the day was the 12U game. A lot of talent was displayed in the first game and it ended with an exciting finish. The 14U game followed the 12U game and just like the first game, the second ended with some excitement. The final game featured the young boys as the 10U went head to head with each other. Each game featured two 30 minutes halves. Throughout the game there were special appearances made by current Michigan football players who were also PAL alumni. Players like Donovan Peoples-Jones, Josh Ross and Lavert Hill had a chance to talk with some of the players and coaches during the game.
12U Game- Team West 21, Team East 14 (2 OT)
Extra football had to be played to decide a winner in the first game as Team West was able to come out on top. Team East was able to tack on first on a 40-yard touchdown run by Javen Sewell which put the East up 7-0. The East was able to take the lead going into the half. The West was looking for a way to tie the game up and with eight minutes left to play, they did just that. Rashawn Mersier, who had a phenomenal game, broke away from the defense for a 60-yard touchdown run to tie the game up at seven. Quarterback Dante Moore and Mersier were a threat on offense for the West. The game went into overtime where both teams would eventually score and force a second overtime. In the second overtime they played sudden death, Team West had the ball and if they scored they won and if they didn’t Team East was the winner. Dante Moore connected with Mercier in the end zone for the victory for Team East. Rashawn Mercier (West) was the offensive MVP and Will Spikes (East) was the defensive MVP of the game.
14U Game- Team East 15, Team West 7
Game two had a similar start to the first game, where Team East jumped out with the early lead. Ja’Qwan Rawls sprinted into the end zone and gave Team East a 7-0 lead. Team East held on to that lead going into the half. Team West came out on a mission in the second half, as running back Dillon Tatum was able to make a few defenders miss as he raced in for a touchdown to tie the game up at seven. With the score tied late in the game Team East made a big stop on defense as Leeshaun Mumpfield made an interception which stopped the momentum for Team West. The game would eventually go into overtime as Team East scored first on a touchdown catch by Anton Davis. Team East had a 15-7 lead and Team West had a chance to tie it up on fourth down, but Team East made a great defensive stop to seal the victory. Dillon Tatum (West) was the offensive MVP and Leeshaun Mumpfield (East) was the defensive MVP.
10U Game- Team East 21, Team West 0
The final game which featured the youngest group was not like the first two games. Team East did not waste any time in this one. The defense stepped up big for Team East. Dakota Guerrant made a great interception on defense and that lead to a long touchdown run by Alex Graham on offense for Team East, and they went up 7-0. Team East would continue to tack on to their lead with a rushing touchdown from Rashad Jones which put them up 14-0. Team East was not done just yet, Alex Graham was a beast on both sides of the ball as he recovered a fumble on defense for a touchdown which put Team East up 21-0 and that was all she wrote for the 10U game. Alex Graham (East) was the offensive MVP and William Beal (East) was the defensive MVP.
Detroit PAL would like to thank Sound Mind Sound Body for putting on this amazing event and giving our PAL kids the opportunity to showcase their talents at one of the best facilities in the nation.
Article and video by Workforce Development Staff Member: Kevin Moore