It has been a transition year for the Lauderhill Broncos 10U youth soccer team. A year after ending the season with a record 5-5, the team rebounded this year with a 10-0 lead in the NFL Youth League. The Broncos finished the regular season with an exclamation point in defeating the Plantation Wildcats 36-6 at Plantation Ball Field.
Broncos coach Torin Connor said he’s proud of their perfect regular season achievement but knows there’s more work ahead for them in the AYFL playoffs. He coached youth football for eight seasons.
“This year has been a transformation and we are getting faster as a team and adding coaches,” Connor said. “We went from three coaches last season to seven coaches this year. We executed a plan and created a structure back in January and incorporated additional tools into our program. We were able to train the kids more and put them in the right place for success.”
In the first half of the competition, the Broncos relied on land and pound strategy in their running game. The Broncos have a group of talented defenders who can deliver the ball to them with confidence. Lipton Zachary Mackenzie, Travon Hickson, Gary Thomas and Courtney Cunningham made long gains to give the club a comfortable first-half lead 24-6.
In the second half, it was Richard St Julian’s turn to shine as he had some strong kicks leading to the touchdown. Leading the team in the rally and during the match, Xavier Henry Jr. was a field general on the field.
“In the second half, we worked on the passing game, and we have one of the best receivers in AYFL with Javaris Murphy,” Connor said. “We try to get him with the ball and splash it all over and take it home with a great touch and run in the first half. You can’t be one-dimensional. We have five running backs we can count on at any time and two great receivers. The other team never knows who’s who.” He got the ball and we stick to that plan.”
Cunningham finished the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 40-yard electric run that demonstrated his speed and foul-steering skills. With the unbalanced score of 36-6, the running hour rule came into effect.
“The road to the Super Bowl isn’t easy and we’ve beaten diversity this year and no one has quit,” Connor said. “The strength of our team is our backs. It is unusual to have five players who can score any time you put the ball in their hands. The coaches, the parents and I am proud of the players for what they did, but now we have to keep this train going.”
Besides having Henry behind the center, the Broncos have Stephen Williams Jr. taking the picks as a reliable backup who has the skills as a quarterback. Across from the wide receiving position is another talented passer with Robert Chambers.
The Broncos defense gave up only five touchdowns during the season. Cunningham plays as an interior full-back and had an interception, while also scoring two goals in attack. The defensive coordinator is Rich DePaul and the offensive coordinator is shared by coaches Stephen Williams Jr and Javaris Williams. Other members of the coaching staff are Alexis Vega, Danielle Spencer and Melvin Davis.
Broncos 10U moved into the AYFL semi-finals after beating Miami PAL 7-6.