By Stephanie Timblin
Fall is in the air, and little league football season is upon us.
Tim Grinols, now in his third season as the Ellicottville Little Eagles Midget Head Coach, led his team to a 27-7 victory over the Pine Valley Longhorns on Saturday, August 20 at Ellicottville Central School.
“We had 34 kids suit up to play and every one of them contributed to the win. The smiles on their faces during and after the game were awesome and the coaching staff could not be more proud of them,” said Grinols.
The Eagles finished the 2015 season with 7-3 overall record and are looking forward to another solid season. League President Todd Palmatier said the team is “poised to do very well this season.” He remarked that “the entire Cattaraugus County Midget Football League (CCMFL) has essentially balanced itself out, with a decrease from 18 to 10 teams due to several programs merging.” He continued by saying “the Eagles have seen a very good run since 2008. The league prides itself on family values and instilling sportsmanship, while building on skills both on and off the field for the young athletes who may be recruited at the high school level for college athletic programs.”
The Eagles Midget coaching staff is rounded out by volunteers Rance Wilson, Charlie Doner, Kevin Murray, Bryan Clark, Preston Cochran, Cheerleading Head Coach Christina Grant and Crystal Meppen.
Before the Saturday evening Midget victory, Mark Chudy, in his second season as Pee Wee Head Coach, led his team to a convincing 27-13 victory over the Longhorns that included a first quarter delay of game due to a driving rainstorm. Scoring was led by Hunter Smith with two touchdowns and Xavier Peters and Derik Shoepflin with one TD each. Extra points were put in by Owen Chudy, Simon Clark and Carter Smith. The line was anchored by Christopher Calarco, Jadon Shoepflin, Isaiah Ploetz and Noah Morlock.
The Eagles Pee Wee coaching staff is rounded out by volunteers Cale Benjamin, Steve Rowland, Jason Urbanski, Josh Auman, Junior Coach Liam Watt, Cheerleading Head Coach Lisa DeChane, Christina O’Brien and Christina Martens. Assisting the Eagles organization as equipment manager is Bob Adams. Safety Coordinator is Frank Morlock.
Of special interest to football fans this year is the addition of flag football teams made up of boys and girls that allow them to learn the fundamentals and basics of football before joining the larger teams at age 7. The Little Eagles flag football teams are coached by Scott Andrews and Chad Smith, both ECS football alumni.
The Eagles will face the newly merged Cattaraugus Little Valley Timberwolves on Saturday, August 27 beginning at 5 p.m. for flag football, and 6 p.m. for regular league action.