The Carson High School football team wasn't the group in the city making a run at a title this season. The Carson Pop Warner Midgets captured a district championship last week in an 8-0 win over Reno and are looking to clinch the regional title today (10 a.m. kickoff) when they face Cambrian North Valleys in Santa Clara, Calif.
"It's been phenomenal as far as the season goes," Carson coach Brad Kiesow said. "From where we started, mix-matched with hodgepodge kids who haven't played together, to getting to where we're at now, it's been tenfold the amount of success we've had every week."
Despite having a first-year coaching staff and a mix of unexperienced players, the Senators won their first two games of the year in dominating fashion, a 24-0 win over the Sparks Wolfpack and a 32-0 victory over Fallon.
The only hicup in the Senators' 9-1 season came in the third week, when they fell to South Lake Tahoe 32-30. Since then, the Senators haven't given up more than eight points in a game and even defeated rival Douglas along the way.
The strong play is a lot more than what some members of the Senators thought would happen at the start of the year.
"We just had more drive than I thought we would," quarterback Garrett Schafer said.
The Douglas win was especially motivating.
"Cause Douglas always beat us in past years," running back Joey Thurman said. "We never beat them."
Lineman and running back Anthony Estrada has been to the regional championship once before and said Carson will need heart to win at this level.
"We played our hearts out the entire year and we beat the Raiders out of Sacramento," Estrada said of his regional experience while living in Vacaville, Calif.
Added Kiesow: "To win regionals, we've got to be consistant, play our brand of football, use our speed and our techniques to overpower the opposition."