Local 10U team Florida bound for National Championships

JP Raineri
Sports Editor

The 10U Fighting Kodiaks are a Temecula Pop Warner team that has been nothing but unstoppable this year. A couple of weeks back, the Valley News reported on their undefeated season and put information out about their quest to get to Florida for the National Championship game. During the time since that initial article the Fighting Kodiaks have been flexing their claws. The team started their local playoff run Saturday, Oct. 26, as the No. 1 seed and ripped right through the playoffs without looking back, winning the Palomar Conference Championship. From there they focused on the Wescon Regional championships, which took place Saturday, Nov. 16, and consisted of the best of best from Arizona, Hawaii, Southern California and Southern Nevada. 

Temecula’s Fighting Kodiaks took the field at Torrey Pines High School against the Arizona Pop Warner State Champions and won, 37-19.  The squad from Temecula, who are led by head coach Jahmal Kelly and his staff, are now the Wescon Region 10U Division 1 Champions and qualified for the Pop Warner National Championships in Orlando, Florida. The event will be held at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex of Sports Dec. 7-14. 

With a 37-19 win over the Arizona Pop Warner State Champions, the 10U Fighting Kodiaks are now the Wescon Region 10U Division 1 Champions. Courtesy photo

“This is a very hard working and highly successful group of players,” coach Tim Doull said. “Realistically, we are positioned to be the first Pop Warner team from our area to claim a National Championship, and we want to make sure every player on our team goes to Florida. We are actively seeking community support leading up to our trip so anything anyone can do to help us is greatly appreciated.”

The team has been together for three seasons, establishing their legacy as the No. 1 team in the division for the West Conference. In these seasons, they have come away with two Division 1 Palomar Conference Championships, the Best of The West Title and most recently back-to-back Wescon Championships in 2018 and 2019. The players, coaches and families are hoping to continue their dominate legacy while embarking on their road to the National Title, Doull said. 

A few of the players from the 10U Fighting Kodiaks show off their rings after winning the Wescon Region 10U Division 1 Championship. Courtesy photo

The team was honored Friday, Nov. 22, during halftime at the Temecula Valley High School football playoff game. It  is currently raising funds to head to the Pop Warner Super Bowl. They have a goal for all 24 players to participate. The Fighting Kodiaks are asking the community for their help. 

“It has been a challenge, to say the least, getting local support behind our team,” Doull said. “We have been preparing for a long time. Yes, there is always fundraising, which helps, but is not the priority. This is about celebrating the players.” 

To help the Fighting Kodiaks get to Florida, sponsorship opportunities are available. More information can be found on their GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/f/help-tvpw-10u-get-to-nationals. Temecula Valley Pop Warner is a nonprofit organization, and more information can be found at www.tvpw.org

Information on the Pop Warner Championships in Florida can be found online at www.popwarner.com/championships. Team manager Ana Solomon can also be contacted for more information via email at astribestyling@gmail.com. To follow all the action, visit their Instagram at www.instagram.com/kodiaksfootball

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.