Athletes of the Week: National champs

Locals conquered the 8U National Championship Flag Football tournament in Tampa, Florida, Jan. 18-19.
After seven football games, the Michigan Elite came out ahead and brought the national championship back home.
The team includes three players from Clarkston and four players from Romeo, who joined forces and went to a tournament at Ford Field in November. They dominated throughout the entire tournament and outscored their opponents 146-0.

Michigan Elite won the National Championship Flag Football tournament in Tampa, Florida. Photo provided

“After that, we thought, why not try the national championship in Tampa,” shared Kate Sliwa, one of the parents.
The team flew out on Friday, Jan. 17 for registration and started the tournament on Saturday.
They played two teams from Tennessee and one team from Arizona and won all three games.
They continued on to the bracket portion of the tournament on Sunday. They started with teams from North Carolina, Las Vegas and Texas and didn’t give up a point in all three games and moved on to the final game for the national championship.
“We played against a fantastic team from Hawaii,” said Sliwa. “It was a battle back and forth that final game.”
Michigan Elite finished the game with a 24-19 win.
The team includes players from Clarkston and Romeo: Geno Bidler, Carter Dolan, Landon Hoightaling, Jackson Sidaway, Jack Sliwa, Grayson Thurston, and Brady Whitehurse, with coaches Dave Dolan, Gene Bidler, and Matt Sliwa.

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