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Huron Valley Bengals host ‘Great Lakes Battle of the Gridiron’

For 12 hours, the Legacy Center Sports Complex in Brighton was a busy place on November 7 as they hosted the “Great Lakes Battle of the Grid Iron”, in partnership with the Legacy Football organization and the Huron Valley Bengals flag football teams.

HV Bengals’ Malcolm Ross II breaks into the secondary in the 10 & Under 23-14 win on Saturday, November 7 over Livonia at the Legacy Sports Complex. (Special to The Spinal Column Newsweekly/CHRIS WALL)

Over 350 players enjoyed the “Battle of the Gridiron”, the first flag football tournament held in southeast Michigan. Players in four separate divisions, including 8 & Under, 10 & Under, 12 & Under and 14 & Under, competed in four games plus playoffs. Players and their families came from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well as Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

Three outdoor fields and three indoor fields were used throughout the event. Championship games were held on the turf in the fieldhouse.

Huron Valley Bengals coach David Lusky came up with idea to offer a local tournament and by the large turnout, the first-ever “Great Lakes Battle of the Gridiron” was a resounding success. Lusky ran the day-long tournament that went off without a hitch.

“We had a great day of football with tons of talent on display. Thank you to all of the Huron Valley Bengal parents, and Justin Cessante and Cody Patton from the Legacy Football Organization for all the hard work put in to make this tournament a success.”

A total of 37 teams made the trek to the Legacy Center to play in the local tournament, where complete COVID-19 precautions were in place.

The host Huron Valley Bengals 10 & Under team, coached by Malcomb Ross and Lorenzo Barber, finished the day at 4-1. The 10U roster includes Gionmarco Dinoto, Dakota Guerrant, Dallas Lusky, Alexander McBride, Kellen Miller, Malcomb Ross II and Liam Wilson.

The HV Bengals 12 and Under team coached by Lorenzo Barber finished 5-1 dropping a close game to the All Stars from Bloomfield Hills in the finals on Saturday evening. The Bengals 12U roster includes Lorenzo Barber Jr., Cameron Dawood, Salvatore Dinoto, Jimmy Elder, Connor Imsland, Jackson Lusky, Tyler Newton, Noah Pike and Hudson Smith.

Hudson Smith with the short pass in the Huron Valley Bengals’ 12 & Under 28-0 victory over Toledo in a first round game at the Legacy Center on Saturday, November 7. (Special to The Spinal Column Newsweekly/CHRIS WALL)

It was quite a day for the YYFFA Penguins from Youngstown Ohio, who won both the 8 & Under division and the 10 & Under division.

As the long day wrapped up, Lusky was smiling, saying, “A big shout out to all the teams that competed. Thank you all for representing your organizations and teams with class.”

The Huron Valley Bengals 10& U team will take their 10-1 record in tournament play and 9-0 record overall on the road where they will be play in Virginia on December 6.

HV Bengals’ Jackson Lusky scores in the 12 & Under 28-0 shutout win over Toledo at the “Great Lakes Battle of the Gridiron.” (Special to The Spinal Column Newsweekly/CHRIS WALL)

The HV Bengals 12 & U team, who is 10-1 in tournament play and 8-1 in the league, will also play on December 6 in Virginia. The Bengals have won four national championships overall and hope to compete again for the title in Tampa in January.




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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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