By ADAM SHINDER
Recorder Sports Staff
Larry Bradwell saw a photograph from Sunday's Amsterdam Little Giants Junior Division Super Bowl against the Orange Crushers that summed up everything the Blue Falcons coach wanted his team to learn this season.
"It was the Orange ball carrier, but you saw nine blue jerseys around the ball carrier," Bradwell said. "That's something we've been preaching from day one -- you've got run to the football. That picture was worth its weight in gold, because if I was a pro team, I'd tell people, 'You see this picture here? This is what I want my defense to do.' It was a perfect learning tool."
Sunday turned out to be the culmination of everything the Blue Falcons' coaching staff instilled in the team from the beginning of the season, as a 13-0 victory over the Orange Crushers behind touchdown runs from Daniel Montalvo and Marcus Jackson gave the Blue Falcons a Junior Division championship.
"I'm just real proud of our kids, their effort, and the Orange team," Bradwell said. "They played real well, they gave us everything that we could ask for, and I just can't say enough about their coaches."
Bradwell said the Blue Falcons succeeded with a strong group of skill players, with running backs Marcus Jackson, Damian Montalvo and Jesus Rivera Jr., along with quarterback Daniel Montalvo. He also gave credit to a group of young line players who developed as a cohesive group throughout the season.
Last week, the Falcons reached the Junior Division Super Bowl with a 25-6 victory over the Green Gators, getting two touchdown runs from Daniel Montalvo and one apiece from Jackson and Rivera. Ricardo Melendez had a 45-yard touchdown run for Green.
"We put a lot of effort in with the kids, but everything that we put in, the kids gave back," Bradwell said.
Orange Crushers coach Dave Ziskin expressed pride in the way his young group progressed throughout the fall. The team reached the Super Bowl with an 18-7 win over the Gold Hornets, getting touchdown runs from Tommy Ziskin, Lorenzo Bottisti and Kadyn Ruggeri, while Josiah Newborn had a touchdown run for Gold.
"I think we had a successful season," Dave Ziskin said. "Our goal was for the kids to learn a little about football and sportsmanship, and I think our kids competed hard and played with class throughout the season. That pleased me very much, and I'm proud of the effort they put in at practice and during the games for the entire season."
With the season complete, Bradwell -- a veteran of the Amsterdam Little Giants coaching ranks -- said that the Blue Falcons' campaign was a testament to everyone involved with the team.
"As a coach, and I've been around for a long time, it was a total team effort," he said. "Right from the cheerleaders, the support from the parents getting the kids to practice on time and supporting us it that way. It was all very important."