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Newton's united under-8 All Stars win big
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With 11 players on each side of the ball, football requires the melding of different personalities, no matter what level of skill or age.
For the Newton County under-8 All Stars that has proved not only true, but also successful.

"If you dig deep, you see that all the kids come from various lifestlyes, no one is better than the other because they come from here or there," coach Dana Washington said. "They are playing because they are having fun."

The Newton County under-8 All Stars recently won two tournaments. Newton County earned the Winder-Barrow Holiday Bowl Championship on Nov. 16-18 and the Southeast National Football Championship from Nov. 23-25.

During the two tournament weekends, Newton County outscored 11 teams by a combined 224-6.

"The defense is amazing, not to let anybody score against them except one team last Sunday," Assistant coach Jason Stowe said.

The team came together in the 2010 season and has been able to maintain the same 11 kids throughout the last two years to set up its stellar 2012 season behind that camaraderie.

"It's almost like they're a little family," Washington said. "While they argue and fight, they're still the best of friends after it."

The team has been succesful also because of its ability to run different sets, such as the wildcat, wish bone and even shotgun formations.

"The shotgun is the thing that gets a lot of teams out of whack when they see that," Washington said.

Throwing the ball out of the shotgun has been Cole Shannon, who threw for more than 300 yards and 5 touchdowns in one tournament. Leading the talented team out of the wildcat has been Jamel Johnson with 6 touchdowns and well over 300 yards on the ground.

Newton County is now working on playing in the N.P.F.A. Southern National Championships in Conyers. A win in this tournament will earn the 8-and-under team a trip to the Georgia Dome on Dec. 7-9.

A win in the Conyers tournament will put Newton County in the national rankings, and get them into the Southern National tournament.

Players in the 8-and-under Newton County team are Jamarius Williams, Cole Shannon, Dylan Stowe, MJ Stroud, Kendarious Spears, Jackson Henry, James Anglin, Deonte Barkley, Jarard Bell, Sidney Blackwell, Elijah Character, Jayden Cuvilje, Kaleb Jackson, Jamel Johnson, Elijah McMonagle, CJ Nolley, Mason Poole, Bo Reed and Chase Washington.

Coaches included head coach Dana Washington and assistants Mark Anglin, Chris Nolley, Jason Stowe, Brian McMonagle and Raphael Johnson.