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By Julia Schmidt, Dubuque Senior sophomore
“Nobody will outwork Iowa” is the motto that drove seventh- grade Team Iowa to become regional champions in the 2012 Football University Youth National Championship.
The FBU Youth National Championship is run by the All-American Games, which also produces the U.S. Army All American Bowl that has features some of the top NFL players. This highly competitive tournament has 64 teams from 34 states, each made up of their most talented football players.
Team Iowa rose to the top and defeated both the Wisconsin and Minnesota teams, ending their run as one of the top 16 teams in the nation.
Team Iowa brings intensity and drive to everything ti does, taking the players to the next level.
“Every minute in practice is scheduled,” Coach Tyler Blum said. “We have high energy in practice and we demand a lot from the kids.”
These high expectations are to prepare the young athletes for their future in football.
“We are training them to be better football players, not today, not tomorrow, but for the rest of their careers,” Blum said.
Chris Rowell, the defensive coach, works with to teach his players exactly what they are looking for.
“We have to know our job and then do our job,” Rowell said.
This attention to detail and focus on each player helps bolster Team Iowa’s drive.
Being a part of the team exposed the players to a higher competition level than they have ever seen before.
“I’m used to being able to knock the person I’m blocking over, now I have to work harder to push them back,” said Carter Schmidt, a tight end for Team Iowa who has played on other football teams, like many of his teammates.
Jeff Kean, whose step-son, Ryan Reighard, plays for Team Iowa, enjoyed getting to watch Ryan meet new friends and learn a lot about football. Team Iowa’s dedication to work hard is visible to the parents involved, Kean said, and he has “gotten to see the kids grow in the short time they’ve been with the team.”
The seventh graders on Team Iowa qualified as one of the nation’s top 16 teams in the 2012 Football University Youth National Championship.