Clovis West football team celebrates emotional win

November 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A local football team is celebrating an emotional win. The Clovis West Eagles are this year's Cen-Cal Football League champions.

This is the team that lost one of its players earlier this year to a suspected drunk driver.

The young football players spent the past few months moving their little legs up and down the field. Their hard work paid off Saturday.

The Eagles won the Pee Wee League Championship in memory of their teammate, Donovan Maldonado.

"It's crazy. I'm still trying to take it all in. I'm still shaking," Clovis West Coach Kyle Koontz said.

Among the cheers were tears, mostly from the exciting moments for this young team. The players, coaches and parents spent much of this season mourning the loss of number 7.

"The win means a lot. It's our programs first time, in four years, to win a championship. For this team to be the one to win it, it means a lot," Tamara Sanders of Fresno said.

Donovan was killed in July when he and his family were struck by a car at a Northeast Fresno intersection. Since then the players have proudly worn the number 7 on their helmets.

"It was meant to be. It was a beautiful way to end a season that started off so harsh for everyone. It's something we needed," Aaron Ensminger of Fresno said.

"They're playing for him. They never let up, they never gave up. They kept on going, they played as hard as they could. They played their little hearts out," Koontz said.

Now the team has a towering trophy with Donovan's championship medal hanging from the top.


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