The Eastlake Panthers possess a winning streak that any NFL coach would be envious of. The 14U youth football team hasn’t had a loss in conference play for the last five years.
The Panthers’ latest win – 46-0 over the Balboa Raiders on Nov. 10 at San Diego High School – crowned the team Midget Division Q Bowl champions for 2018.
The team made local history by becoming the first team in San Diego County to win five consecutive Q Bowl titles.
Ezriel Noa scored two touchdowns in the championship game. His older brother Zeke is a starting linebacker for Boise State while another brother, Elelyon, helped lead Helix High School to a runner-up finish in this year’s San Diego Section Division I championship game.
Both older brothers also played in the Panthers program.
The team dedicated the season to the memory of Martha Edwards and Gail Cortell, mothers of two of the coaches.
The Panthers program, which was founded in 2002, offers football and cheer programs for boys and girls, ages 5 to 14 years old, in the Eastlake/Chula Vista area. Mater Dei Catholic High School serves as the home field for the Panthers.
The Panthers belong to the San Diego Youth Football and Cheer Conference.
The team’s coaching staff has won a total of eight Q Bowls, going 8-8 in championship games, according to league president Clark Moses.
Six division championship games took place Nov. 10 to highlight this year’s Q Bowl lineup. Opponents in the 8U game included Los Toros Red and Bonita, Los Toros and Bonita in the 9U game, Balboa and Los Toros in the 10U game, Balboa and El Cajon in the 11U game, Bonita and Oceanside in the 12U game and Eastlake and Balboa in the 14U game.
Games started at 8:30 a.m. The Panthers topped off the long day of championship finals with their 6 p.m. contest against the Raiders.
Upcoming SDYFC events include regional playoffs Nov. 16 in Las Vegas, the American Youth Football/American Youth Cheer national championships in Kissimmee, Fla., and the 2018 AYF national all-star game Dec. 28 in Bradenton, Fla.
The Panthers 12U team recorded a runner-up finish in last year’s national championship tournament in Florida.
Twenty programs comprise the San Diego conference.
The American League lineup includes the Balboa Raiders, Inland Valley Hurricanes, Oceanside Warriors, Del Norte Nighthawks, Clairemont Hawks, Rancho Penasquitos Wolverines, Mira Mesa Chargers, Mountain Empire Redhawks and South Bay Diablos.
The National League lineup includes the El Cajon Falcons, Granite Hills Eagles, Grossmont La Mesa Warriors, Los Toros Bulls, Skyline Tigers, Steele Canyon Cougars, Bonita Buccaneers, Eastlake Panthers, Otay Ranch Broncos, South San Diego Imperial Beach Chiefs and Tierrasanta Cougars.
The Panthers collected three Q Bowl championships from 2008 to 2010 before starting their current championship streak in 2014.
The Midget team’s coaches include Moses, Larry Edwards, Max Schwenke, Ike Owens, Bob Hughes, Eric Parker, Elias Noa, Derwin Williams, Ernie Buchanan, Ron Cortell and Kelii Kahananui.
Nicole Rinehart serves a team manager.
The Eastlake Panthers Junior Pee Wee team won the 2008 national championship title.
2018 San Diego Youth Football and Cheer Conference Q-Bowl Champions
Los Toros Bulls 6, Bonita Bucs 0
Los Toros Bulls 16, Bonita Bucs 8
Balboa Raiders 33, Los Toros Bulls 6
11 U Division
Balboa Raiders 20, El Cajon Falcons 6
Bonita Bucs 48, Oceanside Warriors 8
Eastlake Panthers 46, Balboa Raiders 0
Sun Devils capture 8U Twin Hills Girls Fall League championship
The Sun Devils-Zavala 8U youth softball team recently concluded play in the Twin Hills Girls Fall League with a undefeated playoff run to capture the 2018 championship.
The Sun Devils-Zavala won the championship game by a score of 3-0 over the Sundevils-Baca. Zoey Gonzales, who earned the all-tournament MVP award, was the starting pitcher in the semifinal game as well as the championship game. She struck out 13 batters in both games and also had five stolen bases in scored in each of the games.
Twin sister Avah Gonzales had four stolen bases and scored two runs. Avah also threw out a runner at first base from left field.
The Sundevils-Zavala scored all three runs in the championship game in one inning. Kassie Ramirez started the inning off with a single, then went to second with a steal. Zoey Gonzales singled and advanced Ramirez to third base. Anabelle Gallagher walked to load the bases. Catalina Cortes singled to score Ramirez for 1-0 lead. Alexih Lopez doubled to right field driving in two runs, with game ending 3-0.
The Queen Bees won the Summer League Minis Division championship by defeating the defending champion Fury twice in one day due to the double elimination playoff format.
Zoey Gonzales led the Queen Bees pitching in all four playoff games. The 8-year-old right handed pitcher had 45 strikeouts in the playoffs alone, including 12 strikeouts in the first championship game and 10 strikeouts in the second championship game while allowing only two hits.
She struck out nearly every batter she faced. Little sister Avah Gonzales was her equal at the plate, providing the offense for the Queen Bees by going 5-for-6 in both games with two inside-the-park home runs, a double, a triple and a single. Avah drove in all her team’s runs.