Sunday, November 25, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 7:52 p.m.
Featured image: Members of the Memorial Park Tiny Mite Spartans with the Bellwood Board of Trustees during a Nov. 19 meeting, where the team was honored after a big regional victory on Nov. 10. | Provided
The Memorial Park Tiny Mite Spartans were honored at a regular Bellwood Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 19 — a week after they beat the LaPorte Slicers 42-0 to win a bowl game in Michigan City, Ind. The Tiny Mites were among a group of teams picked to represent the Chicago area.
The Nov. 10 win capped off another winning season for the Tiny Mites, who finished with six wins, three ties and no losses. Last year, the Tiny Mites went 8-0 to capture the first undefeated season for the Tiny Mites. The Spartan football program includes four different levels. The Tiny Mites, kids ages 5 to 7, are the youngest participants in the program.
Third-year Tiny Mite Coach Jerome Mayfield said that this year’s successful season was particularly pleasing, considering all of the obstacles his team had to endure.
“It was really tough getting this team together — we almost didn’t have a team,” Mayfield said during a Nov. 25 phone interview. “Sometimes, people find out about enrollment so late and if you can’t get enough parents to pay before the deadline, you may not be able to field a team.”
Mayfield said that he “kind of lost spirit” at the beginning of the season, “because everything was going wrong.”
Thanks to great parents and a strong coaching staff, he said, things started coming together.
Mayfield said that he and his players were honored to have been recognized by the mayor and other village officials — a first for the program. He said that he hopes that the team’s success, and the attention it brings, will allow the program to let more community members know what Spartan football is all about.
“We’re trying to get more people around the neighborhood involved, because our kids need something positive to keep them active and that gives them a social life outside of school,” he said. “We always say that we’re more than a program. This is a brotherhood.”
Mayfield said that the people on his coaching staff double as mentors and father-figures. He praised the coaching staff for the Tiny Mites’ sustained success. They’ve lost fewer than five games over three seasons and haven’t lost once since 2016.
“I want to thank Coach D; Coach Shannon; Coach Patrick; Coach Mims; our president, Coach Tolliver; Coach LV Charlie; Coach Bo; and Mr. Alvin Harvey,” Mayfield said. VFP
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