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Clayton Gray

November 8, 2011
11:57:40 PM

Entry #: 3834414
What a year, What a group, and What a weekend we have in front of us. I want to wish all the teams good luck in their games. Players, Parents, families, and fans, this is an amazing year that is unprecedented in the NSYFL.

In the Flag Championship: you have Raiders vs. Raiders. Carl Ragusa is one of my best friends, he was my college roommate, he brought me to the Raiders, and I have coached with him so I know that he will have his team ready. Grego is super passionate and has done a great job with his great team, and his son plays for me and is one of my all-time favorite players. Both teams have a bunch of talent that I can’t wait to coach next year. That is going to be one heck of a game. The last time we had Raiders vs. Raiders in the Flag division was when Carl and I coached against each other, he won the first one and my team got the second match-up. I can tell you emotions were high. It is tough to play against your own club. It will be important for us all to let the kids play the game. Realize when the final seconds go off the clock that we all want to be winners, but someone has to lose, and we will all still be Raiders… Those kids will be teammates next year, and the parents will be parents on the same team. It is easy to get carried away, and it can be hard to not get caught in the moment and let the competitive juices get carried away. Be classy in this game and support both teams especially after the game. Good luck to both teams!

In the 3/4th grade Championship: is my young team led by a great group of 4th graders. Many times this year the coaches and I have talked about how we should write a book to capture all the great moments we have had this season. From Chad Tinney giving a very emotional speech and apology to his team after an early season practice because he felt he had let his brothers (teammates) down because he hadn’t given all he had that night, and he promised it wouldn’t happen again. To the last practice at Raider Field where I told the players “we had just run the hill for the last time” and I looked over and saw Will Swetnam crying because he wasn’t ready for the season to be over. These are tremendous young men who have overcome adversity and became champions despite whatever happens on Saturday. We take on a undefeated Chargers team who will be well coached and have some of the best running backs in the league. Good Luck to my young men and coaches (friends).

5th/6th grade Championship: Our team, and our Coaches are amazing. What is really amazing is the emotion you see from each player for one another. Watch every time a player scores a Touchdown you will see the other 10 players on the field in the end zone slapping high fives and going crazy because they care about each other as a team. One of the things that makes this team great is their incredible burning desire to be winners and champions. They also have one of the most dedicated group of parents I have seen, so many of them are deeply involved in our club. They will take on a Sharks team that practices every night with a deep passion to play our team and to be able to say they beat the Raiders. The only team that has beaten the Sharks this year are the “Raiders”. They want us bad. Good luck Anthony and team, and a special Good Luck to my son Nathan who I am very proud of.

7th/8th grade championship: No need to say much more than it is against the Wolverines. We beat them the first time around this season and they want revenge. This is a game that every Raider should want to attend. It doesn’t get much better than what this will be. Good Luck coach DUZE and team.

GO RAIDERS! I couldn’t be prouder to be in this organization!


November 9, 2011
1:58:26 PM

Entry #: 3834724
Well said Clayton.

It will be difficult to refer to you as Coach Cuckoo now, which is upsetting because I really like saying Coach Cuckoo!

Flag Granny

November 11, 2011
9:52:11 AM

Entry #: 3835815
Bring back the neck roll!

The Donald

November 11, 2011
12:12:00 PM

Entry #: 3835887
Neck roll: check.
Full cage: check.
Half gloves: check.
Intimidating glare: not quite perfected

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