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Coaches and players of the national champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a team of fifth of sixth grade athletes from the Tucson area.

Tucson is home to another youth flag football champion. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, of the Tucson Under Armour Under the Lights league, won the organization’s fifth- and sixth-grade national championship held in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug. 4. 

The team was coached by Jeff Pierce, and went 10-1 during the regular season before running the table at the national championship. 

Pierce praised the effort of his players, saying their championship performance stemmed from a spring full of hard work. 

“I’m extremely happy and proud of this team,” he said. “These kids are a group of friends that started playing flag football together about four years ago. All that time together has built unmatched chemistry and they have put in countless hours of training to prepare for tournaments like this.” 

The team consisted of players from Tucson and Marana, including Colten Meyer, Parker Pierce, Jake Rogers, Brady Kearns, Devon Simmons, Gabriel Diaz, Talon Enriquez and RJ Gory. The players attend Harrelson Elementary, Marana Middle School, Ironwood Elementary, Coyote Trail Elementary School, Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School and Anza Trail School.

Pierce’s staff was rounded out by fellow coach CJ Meyer, who helped the team’s players prepare for their moment in the sun.

Pierce said the team’s players are a special bunch, with great work ethic and drive to win, and thanked the players, coaches and parents that helped the team on its road to victory. 

“These kids love competing at a high level and with great support from our parents we are fortunate to be able to push them against great competition like this,” he said. “As much as we want them to win we also realize that they are still kids so we really preach to them to enjoy themselves and the journey. These opportunities don’t come around very often and we want them to appreciate them.”

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