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Blue Jays win 2012 championship

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 9:19 p.m.
The 2012 Keystone Bantam League Champions are the Jeannette Blue Jays. In front, from left, are Jason McBride, Taishawn Jamison, Samuel Crosby, Jacob Phillips, Kesean Crosby and Brad Birch. In the second row are C.J. Blasco, Jaiden Crosby, Toby Cline, Brett Birch, Jalen Bass, Tavon Briston and Tyriq Blake. In the third row are Chris Heminger, Hunter Shaw, Isaiah Morton, Emilio Huerta and Ryan Kimmel. In back are assistant coaches Seth Phillips, Bob Birch, Jesse Shaw, Mike Cox, Scott Cline, head coach Ed Cycak and Dan Cooper. Submitted

Jeannette's youth football program serves as an excellent feeder system to the high school's freshman, junior varsity and varsity programs — something the program could always point to as a benchmark of success.

This season, however, they have some hardware to back up their assertions of success.

The Jeannette Blue Jays, the program's youngest group of players competing in tackle football, finished off a championship season in the Keystone Bantam League this month.

The team earned a 16-0 win over Penn Trafford — a team Jeannette lost to twice in the regular season — and were able to fulfill a pregame promise made to Jeannette High School head coach Roy Hall that they would win the championship.

After a scoreless first half, the Blue Jays made the first impact play of the game when Jaiden Crosby, one of 16 Blue Jays dressed for the game, sprinted off the edge and delivered a ball-jarring hit on the Penn Trafford ball carrier.

Jeannette recovered deep in Penn Trafford territory and converted on a Toby Cline touchdown run. A successful two-point conversion gave the Blue Jays an 8-0 lead.

Jeannette's defense limited Penn Trafford to one trip past mid-field and controlled the game. Cline scored on a second touchdown run later in the second half, and another successful two-point conversion gave the Blue Jays the winning margin.

Jeannette Blue Jays head coach Ed Cycak, who completed his first season at the helm of the 7-9-year-old team, took over a program that had won just one game in each of the previous two seasons.

Jeannette Blue Jays roster includes Toby Cline, Brett Birch, Jaiden Crosby, Tavon Briston, Jason McBride, Isaiah Morton, Emilio Huerta, CJ Blasco, Hunter Shaw, Aaryn Williams, Sam Crosby, Brad Birch, Keyshawn Crosby, Xavier Dodds, Taishawn Jamison, Jayden Canady, Gabriel Dodds, Ryan Kimmel, Tyriq Blake, Daniel Jordan, Jailen Bass, Xavier Florence, Deshawin Jordan, Jake Phillips and Chris Heminger.

Dave Moio is a freelance writer.

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