Packers 8U perfect in season

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The 8U squad of Smithfield Packers Youth Sports defeated the Deer Park Titans on Halloween weekend to secure a perfect 10-0 regular season (a feat not achieved in recent program history) and are the number one seed in the Peninsula Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization.

“It’s a culmination of the hard work put in by both the student-athletes and coaching staff,” Head Coach Mike Newhall said. “I’m happy for the kids.”

“(It’s the) best feeling in the world — I want them to succeed,” Defensive Coordinator Ryan Castaneda said.

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Newhall and Castaneda are joined by Assistant Coach Kevin Blair, Defensive Coordinator Shadeed Harris, Offensive Coordinator Olumide Oniyide, Assistant Coach Dwayne Newby, and Team Parent Angel Castaneda.

The regular season wasn’t without its challenges, as several injuries prompted adjustments on both sides of the football, but looking ahead to the next few weeks for the local Peninsula Youth Cheerleading and Football Organization playoffs, Newhall is confident.

“We need to stay focused,” he said. “It’s (been) a long season for the kids starting with training camp in August. The team has done a good job in that regard.”

The fall season came on the heels of a delayed 2020 season, which was played over the spring starting in January, due to COVID-19.

The United YFL Championships begin Dec. 4 in Plant City, Florida. “Our attention is on the task at hand, which is to win PYFCO,” Newhall said.

In week one of postseason play, Smithfield Packers Youth Sports welcomed teams from around the region and hosted 17 matchups between the fields at Smithfield High School and the Luter Sports Complex.

The 8U squad set the tone early, defeating the Williamsburg Hornets 27-0.

In addition, the 10U team overcame the Tri Citi Hurricanes 6-0 in overtime, and the 12U team closed out the day besting the VA Eagles 21-0 under the lights at Smithfield High School.

The 8U, 10U and 12U squads will advance to round two of the postseason next week, where the 8U Packers will face the Tri-Citi Hurricanes, the 10U Packers will face the Back River Bulls, and the 12U Packers will face the Tri-Citi Hurricanes. The location and other details are pending.

Smithfield Packers Youth Sports is a member of the Peninsula Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization. For more information on the SPYS program, please visit