Picayune little league football team wins Super Bowl

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 6, 2019

Football is a game of strategy, heart and skill.

It’s a sport that has to be taught since it doesn’t come naturally for most athletes.

Youth leagues teach children the fundamentals of football and are integral to the success of local junior high and high school teams.

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Pearl River County’s coaches can rest easy knowing a new batch of talent is on the way in the form of the local 6U team, Picayune Tide. This year that team won the Super Bowl of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth Football League on Nov. 16.

The league consisted of 63 teams from across the state of Mississippi.

Picayune’s players participated in nine games this season, including the team’s playoff run and Super Bowl victory.

Harvey Miller was a coach of the local championship team.

Miller said in previous years the local teams would just play against each other, but that all changed when they joined the new league.

There were teams ranging from 12U all the way down to 6U, where the Picayune Tide was competing.

The winning team received rings and trophies for their accomplishments and Miller said the parents were just as invested, if not more so, in the team’s success as the athletes were.

“It was so touching. I really think the moms, dads and grandparents were more excited than the kids were,” Miller said.

Miller said he’s been coaching little league football off and on for 22 years.

The reason for the longevity not only comes down to Miller’s passion for the game, but his desire to help the youngsters learn and grow through the game of football.

It’s a sport that teaches many lessons both on and off the field, which is why Miller has continued volunteering his time to coach young athletes.

“I’ve been involved in football all my life. It’s been so rewarding for me as an individual to be a part of these kids’ lives (through the years) who are now very fine people throughout the country,” Miller said.

The team’s success is dependent not only on the talent of the players, but also the number of community members who give their time to help coach the kids.

Volunteer coaches aren’t paid for the time they spend with the athletes, but Miller said those community members are the reason leagues such as the one Picayune won exist.

“The coaches that come out as volunteers they were really special, hats off to those guys. There are a lot of people to thank and kids were unbelievable,” Miller said.

The team’s success also bodes well for the future of the local varsity school programs since these leagues are growing new talent in the sport of football.

“It was a great step for our feeder program. We’re blessed with talent to come,” Miller said.