Our grandson Kaden, an 11-year-old 6th-grader, just finished his final year of youth football.
He was born a leader, and other kids just naturally follow him.
Kaden is strong and tough and leads by example.
And he's always barking out orders on the football field.
Kaden is definitely their field commander.
In the youth football league, in order to avoid injuries kids over a certain weight (indicated by the big "X" on their helmet) are not allowed to run the ball. Kaden is a big boy for his age so for the past couple of years he's been delegated to play the line on offense.
He's made the most of his time at center, running the offense on the field and making sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do.
And he has been known to help the officials with calls too...indicated here what he was sure was a first down for his team.
Even when he's not in the game (which is rare), Kaden is still teaching his teammates.
I think he kinda thrives being in the middle of all that intense contact!
Kaden has always played sports with a lot of passion and emotion...
...and his coaches just love that intensity and fire!
On most teams, it's the quarterback who gets the plays from the coach. On Kaden's team, he's the one who runs the show for the coach.
Are you sure, Ref?
Get up Kaden! We can't afford for you to get hurt!
Even the tough ones aren't invincible...
...but it takes a lot more than a sprained ankle to keep this good man down!
Kaden is a great encourager too, always pumping up his teammates.
Boys will be boys...a little friendly off-field tussle action with his friend and teammate...
There were only 2 intramural teams that played each other every week. So the boys on the other team are also good friends of Kaden's and next year will be teammates not opponents.
They finished their season by combining the two intramural teams to play a rival school, Eastern Hancock's 5th/6th grade team. All the boys wore their navy jerseys and had a great time playing together instead of against each other.
Raider touchdown!!! The Raiders would eventually win the game 18-0, a great way to finish off the season!
What a cute fella! Growing up into a young man right before my eyes...
A little halftime fun with his quarterback...
They didn't have any cheerleaders, so I guess they decided to do a few cheers...
...and dance a little themselves!
Okay boys, back to the business at hand...
It's going to be so much fun watching his football career the next few years...