Thanks to Vic Gideon, who provided the information below. Congrats and good luck to the team! See below to find out how you can donate to help fund their trip to the championships.
The high school season for the Cleveland Heights Tigers football team ended in frustration, culminating in a legal battle that kept them out of the playoffs. But there is a silver lining.
The Heights Tigers fifth and sixth grade team capped an undefeated season in which they only surrendered 12 points by winning the North Coast Youth Football Conference Championship. After winning the AYF Midwest Regional Championship in Michigan, the Tigers , on Dec. 2.
This accomplishment represents the first football championship of any kind in Cleveland Heights history, helping uplift a community reeling from narrowly missing the high school playoffs.
The Tigers also have a unique player, A’mari Wheatley, who is a fifth-grader. A’mari had tried out for several other teams, but she was turned away and never given an opportunity to showcase her speed and athleticism, which she refused to devote to cheerleading as was continuously suggested to her.
When A’mari came to the Tigers, she was finally able to fulfill her dream of playing tackle football with boys her age. As the summer progressed, A’mari earned the respect of her teammates and coaches, on top of winning over the hearts of fans across Cleveland Heights. As the Tigers hoisted the regional championship trophy high in the air, no smile was a great as hers. She, along with her brother, accomplished something special, and they all made it known that she was a very big part of it.
This youth football program is in its fifth year and is based on the Mentor model, where young players are put in a system, preparing them for high school football.
For the nationals, the Tigers will leave for Orlando, FL., on November 30. The tournament will be from Dec. 1 through Dec. 8. The team has set up an account with Chase for donations. Donations will be accepted at any Chase Bank branch, or online at the website www.tigersyouthfootball.com. To donate in person, please contact Nellie, 216-571-0000 or Mike, 216-326-6456.