Pop Warner’s Football Hernando Youth League (HYL) Leopards 8U team has advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs. They play the Palm Beach Gardens Gators at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Lake Mary High School in Orlando.
The HYL Leopards have a record of nine and one. They lost the first game of the season and have won nine in a row since that loss. They avenged their only loss, beating the team that beat them in the playoffs.
There are only four teams left from Florida in the area group. The team has 27 kids who are in second and third grades. They have already had a couple of big comebacks, so they know that the game is not over until there are zeros on the clock.
The coaches for this team are Mike Lastra, James Joyner, and several parents.
To get ready for the big game, they called in local legend Tyrone Goodson. Tyrone played HYL for five years before starring at Central High School in Brooksville. He then went on to Auburn University, where he was a standout wide receiver before playing in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers.
He drove down from Ocala to give the players an inspirational speech during their practice. Some of the players knew Tyrone from the local football camp that he puts on. Mike Lastra followed up with a speech of his own and the team is fired up for Saturday.