On Saturday it did as youth football teams around Rome and Floyd County got their chance to shine in the Unified Youth Football league championships.
Twelve teams participated in the Heritage Bowl championship games at Riverview Park and the Boys and Girls Club and six walked away with division titles.
“The Heritage Bowl gives these kids their time in the sun,” said Tony Storey, who oversees youth football for the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority.
“I don’t think any of them knows who’s first or second, but the kids are excited about seeing the big crowds. It pumps them up and makes them feel special.”
Big crowds were on hand Saturday to watch the final game of the season for the players, who come from the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority and the Boys and Girls Club.
It was the culmination of a season devoted to teaching kids sportsmanship and the fundamentals of football.
“You learn what it takes to be a team,” Storey said. “They learn it takes 10 other guys to make a team work. It helps them get prepared for the older age groups.”
The players also learned what it feels like to win a championship.
In Pee Wee Division 1 at Riverview, the heralded Tigers defeated the Colts 27-6 in a game that came down to the final eight minutes.
Fans lined the fence on both sides of the field at Riverview and filled the stands as well to see the much-anticipated game.
In Pee Wee Division 2, the Warriors defeated the Yellow Jackets 35-12.
The Wolves of Mite Division 1 defeated the Tigers 34-0 and the Warriors defeated Indians Blue 18-6 in Mite Division 2.
Dragons Gold won the Junior Pee Wee Division 1 title with a 20-7 victory over the Wildcats.
In Junior Pee Wee Division 2, the Colts beat the Black Dragons 27-0.
“The season went very well,” Storey said. “We’ve been very pleased with it and the playoffs have been great.
“The crowds have been good and the behavior has been great,” he added. “The parents really put it into perspective and realized it was for the kids, not them.