Local School Wins State Football Championship!
By Jude Barnes and Laurie Miller
Photo by Scott Chinchar
What a game, what a season, what a team...
Clearwater Academy International, a local private school with 260 students enrolled, recently won the State Championship Trophy in the six-man tackle football league called FCAPPS: Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools.
The FCAPPS league, established in 2006, has a total of 20 private schools participating in this football program. Teams are located all over Florida, from as far south as Naples and as far north as Tallahassee.
League Founder and Commissioner, Chuck Howard, commented on the establishment of the 6-Man Tackle Football League by saying, "Six-man is grassroots football. It dates back to 1934 and came into being as a means for small high schools to be able to afford to field a football team during the Great Depression." He further said, "It goes back to the beginnings of football when there were no field goals, bleachers or scoreboards. Our league offers the opportunity for small schools around the state to participate in one of our nations most popular sports - football."
The Clearwater Academy Knights started the 2009 season, their second in the league, with a love of the game and a true sense of team. Led by head coach Joe Sciandra, and in front of a crowd of about 1000, the team entered the State Championship game, against the Christian Haven Lions, with a record of 12 wins and 0 losses. The Knights won the game, and the State Championship with a score of 38-12, and did what few teams have done; they played the perfect season and were undefeated 13-0!
Knights Defensive Coach, Casey Tibbs said, "It is a privilege and honor to help cultivate a team and to see all of the hard work and determination pay off in winning the State Championship. These young men exemplified the true meaning of teamwork and sportsmanship."
Howard also said, "For only being in the league two years, the Knights have stacked up some serious stats: they have the most winning percentage of any team in the league with 23 wins and 2 losses and they are the first team to have a perfect season and win the State Championship." He added, "The Clearwater Academy players won the State Championship with dignity and class. Big hits were made against them in that game, but time and time again you would look out on that field and see a Knight extending a hand to the opposing team and picking them up."
At the recent Knights Awards Banquet, the coaches named QB, Jesse Chinchar the MVP with his total of 2665 passing yards for the season. Awards were also presented to David Feldman for Best All Round Player, Raph Schwyter for Best Offensive Player and Arti Radani for Best Defensive Player of the year.
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