Jaguar Youth Football Program

Jaguar Youth Football Program won the Arizona Youth Football tournament championship game in late November against the previously undefeated Cave Creek Falcons with a final winning score of 42-39 in favor of the Jaguars. 

The 12U Anthem Jaguars will soon provide Boulder Creek High School with young football players — all of whom are state champs.

The team beat the previously undefeated Cave Creek Falcons in the Arizona Youth Football tournament championship game in late November at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix. 

“It was a very exciting game, with both teams going back and forth, and the final and winning score was 42-39 in favor of the Jags,” said Justin Simons, coach.

The Jaguars went 10-2 during the fall 2021 season. The league boasts about 270 teams of all ages from the greater Anthem area — New River, Black Canyon City, Desert Hills and North Phoenix.

“We’re a direct feeder team for Boulder Creek’s football team,” Simons said. “It’s a youth tackle football team. 

“In our division there are 35 teams. We ended up playing very well. We had three playoff games and won the state championship game over previously undefeated Cave Creek Falcon 42-39. They’re part of the Cactus Shadows football program.”

Simons called the game “very exciting,” as the score went back and forth before the Jaguars won by 3. 

“It was an incredible game with a really large crowd,” he said. “It was nice of the families and our community to come out and support these kids.”

The athletes are Cash Williams, Gunnar Koger, Elijah Gomez, Zaniel Dement, Aiden Evans, Austin Koenig, Albert Ennist, Quvohn Lewis, Vinny Angelo, Aaron Knisely, Torin Hamilton, London Olsen, Mark Burgoyne, Carson Stuepfert, Blake Wells, Kaden Rambo, Kaiden Conner, Campbell White, Brody Shaw, Quinn Cothern, Kayne Thoreson, Brodie Moore, Christopher Misselbrook, Brody Wolfenden, Madden Bahr, Gavin Phillips, Carter Schmelzle, Chase Garner, Cade Jasper and Jaxon Simons.

The coaches are Simons, Josh Bahr, Jimmy Wolfenden, Jim Moore, Antonio Effinger, Sean Bulmann, Craig Boates, Nick Thoreson, Carter Cameron and Colby Kitson.

The Jaguars 12U youth tackle football team has players ages 12 and 13 from the greater Anthem area and belongs to the National Youth Sports league which serves approximately 45,000 youth each year in seven states. 

Formerly known as the Sabercats, the Jaguar Youth Football program began two years ago when Simons took over the program. 

“When I took over the program, the kids did not win a single football game,” he said. “So, I’m pretty proud of that.”

He chalked up the success to the kids’ “hard work and buy-in,” and his coaches. The community has rallied around the team. That includes Boulder Creek High School. 

“I appreciate the support of Boulder Creek High School,” Simons said. “They let us use their fields, which is critical. That way, more family members in the area can come, as opposed to Phoenix, when they would have to drive 40 to 45 minutes. 

“It gives you a nice feeling and a nice home crowd. Boulder Creek has a brand-new football field. The fan support and community have been great. There’s so much that goes into the team — fundraising, making sure the school district allows us to use the field. We’re something the community can be really proud of. They brought home a state championship to the community. We don’t have very many opportunities to do this. We’re always giving up championships to the East Valley.”

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