San Fernando Valley Sun/el Sol
The North Valley Golden Bears defeated the Santa Clarita Grizzlies at SoFi Stadium Nov. 10 in a close 24-22 championship game.
The team fought back from a 14-0 deficit at halftime to claim the trophy. The team was led by Ayden Rivas, Michael Hurtado, Jason Kitchens, West Mays and Nathan Gonzales.
Gonzales scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter to clinch the game for the Golden Bears. He was also named the championship game MVP.
Coach Erik Heil said that the key to victory was building a great team with, “determination, focus, discipline, togetherness and a little bit of coaching.” He credits the families, fans and administration for supporting the team throughout the season.
The “Baby Bears,” as they are affectionately known, compete in the Gold Coast Youth Football League (GCFYL) Mighty Mites division for 7 and 8 year olds. The Bears are based out of El Cariso park in Sylmar and are coached by Bill Ynestroza, Herman Cox, Erik Heil and Tatiana Sanchez. The program was founded in 1969 and focuses on fundamentals, sportsmanship and the love of the game.