For the second straight year, Columbia County reigned supreme in the Upstate Invitational Football Tournament in Greenville, S.C.
In 2012, the team name was the Bulldogs. On Dec. 15, 2013, it was the Hitmen, comprised mainly of players from the 2012 squad, that brought home the championship in the 12-and-under division.
The all-star team was
built with CAYFA (Columbia Area Youth Football Association), recreation department, Pop Warner and middle school players.
The Hitmen won both their games on Dec. 7, then returned to Greenville on Sunday, Dec. 8 for the championship round. Facing Team Elite from Augusta, the Hitmen held off Team Elite, winning 12-6.
Hitmen coach Alie Brown thought the defense was the key to winning the title.
“Our defense played lights outs,” said Brown. “The offense did what it had to do to score the points and our defense just held them down.”
The Hitmen were able to get some good time in together in before the Upstate tournament.
“We started practicing about a month out from the tournament so we had time to practice and get everyone used to our different plays and philosophies of coaching as well,” Brown said.
The Hitmen won the Third Annual Big Jim Siple Tournament at Patriots Park on Dec. 1 and rolled into the tournament the following weekend.
While the 12-and-under run won’t officially be over until they lose, next year’s team may be overhauled as Brown expects most of
this year’s squad to be playing for the 14 and under team.