MFFCC Plays Part In FBU Tampa Success

IT STARTED WITH AN IDEA

Three years ago an idea was hatched to showcase the talent in the local bay area.  For years in the state of Florida, the football talent hot bed was thought to reside in the Southern counties of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.  These three counties were considered to be the breeding ground of the “next great” on the gridiron.

The Central part of Florida was always seen as a good spot for talent, however the talent distance between the South Florida counties and the Central Florida Counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk seemed to be measured in light years, and not miles.

Not to be deterred by the established picking order, the thought process to start a FBU (Football University) team to represent the Tampa Bay Area was born.

GROWING PAINS

The rich talent base in the Tampa Bay is spreadout amongst a number of youth football organizations, and getting these organizations and leagues to all get on the same page and see the benefits of particpating in FBU Tampa proved to be a task in its own right.   Skeptisism was at a high level because of the newness of the idea and some hurdles needed to be mowed down.

Despite some pushback from a few organizations, the mission to showcase the talented kids in the Tampa Bay area moved on.

With any new venture, there were a series of small setbacks.  Setbacks, for some that could be seen as a reason to pull the plug on the entire project.  In the case of FBU Tampa, the setbacks showed the planners of where their short comings were.

EARLY RESULTS YEILD GREAT PROMISE

The path to a FBU National Championship was not an easy road to navigate.  This is a full on tournament with 3 rounds of competiton.  The rounds (Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, Championship) are broked up into weekends of play, so having a well constructed team to handle the demands of play and myriad of different offenses and defenses is essential.

Armed with a team of middle school players from grades 6 – 8, Team Tampa revealed itself to the national stage.

Out of the gate, Team Tampa showed that it had pieces to compete. Team Tampa showed that it belonged early by knocking off some contenders from the FBU South Region.  However, their teams seemed to lack the ability to fully compete man for man with some of the more established powers in the FBU Universe.

Advancing as far was the Semi Finals with a 6th and 8 grade assembled squads, Team Tampa seemed to have hit their competive ceiling.

RELOADED FOR SUCCESS

This year is year three of the Team Tampa FBU project, and coming into this season the buzz around this undertaking was vibrating at a high level.  Before any of the games were played in the National Tournament, there was an air of confidence that permeated throughout the Team Tampa Family.   From Parents to Coaches, to the players things just felt as if they were coming together.

A host of new faces and helmet emblems decorated the practice fields.   With the added firepower and a renewed sense of confidence, Team Tampa was ready to not just compete, but to make a run.

Heavy MFFCC participation from the Greenwood Panthers, Zephyrhills Bulldawgs, Lakeland Lumberjacks, Fair Oaks Rattlers, Tampa Hurricanes, and the South Shore Sharks, coupled with the best from TBYFL (Tampa Bay Youth Football League),  Pop Warner, and TCYFCC (Tri-County Youth Football and Cheerleading Conference, it was evident that Team Tampa was complete.

If only for a brief moment in time a power move made as players and coaches from these leagues came together for the singular purpose of pushing Team Tampa.

 

NOT HISTORY, BUT THEIR STORY

The impact that Team Tampa left as a whole on the FBU community is still being measured.  Teams are still trying to figure out what happened after getting on the field with Team Tampa.  Not in recent memory had a FBU program pull off what the Team Tampa Community was able to.  From the opening games from when the 6th-grade team put up THREE consecutive games of 50 points or better.  Or from the 7th-grade team rallying from being down THREE touchdowns to a perennial powerhouse in Dade county.  The 8th-grade team, despite getting stopped in the quarter finals were the cornerstones of the FBU birth, contributed mightily as well.

At the end of the day, the story for FBU Tampa will be written as follows:

FBU Tampa 6th grade – National Champions
Outscored the entire United States 184-0

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FBU Tampa 7th grade – National Champions
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The experience for the players has been a memorable one.  Memorable in that the impossible occurred.  An entire region came together for a common goal, and not only did they achieve the goal, they have set the bar and height that may not be reachable again.  However, the pursuit to reach the height is going to fuel a lot of competition in the years to come.

A special thanks go out to the MFFCC community for their contributions, however the surrounding areas that include TBYFL, Pop Warner and TCYFCC and others all share in FBU’s successful 2017 run.