The Wellesley fifth grade football team capped an unbeaten season with a national championship Friday afternoon in Kissimmee, Fla., defeating the Detroit West Side Cubs 20-7 to capture the coveted American Youth Football 2013 national championship.
With a week of play, the squad of 24 boys reached the highest national level of play available to elementary-aged football players. Joined by parents and seven coaches, the team traveled to Florida last Saturday. Taking the field this week they played the Detroit Bulldogs on Monday, emerging with a 32-13 quarterfinal victory, before taking a 7-0 win over Gainsville, Fla.
Coached by Wellesley resident Jim Fadule, the Junior Raidres have won 37 consecutive games in their league over the past 4 years. This level of play has been a crowning achievement even before entering this national level competition. The boys, who have been practicing since August 5, have been spurred on by well wishes from hundreds of friends, youth football parents, supporters from the other Baystate league teams, the Wellesley Gridiron and WHS football players and coaching staff.
A welcome home event has been scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:30. Wellesley residents and fans are invited to greet the bus which will arrive at the Wellesley High School parking lot approximately one hour after team’s 2:30 p.m. landing time at Logan airport.