By Cary Shuman
When Lynn Chargers head coach Junior Martinez assembled his youth football team in August, he felt he had a good nucleus with nine returning players on defense.
The Chargers’ defense rose to the occasion all year, allowing only 62 points in 12 games and posting four shutouts.
One of those shutouts occurred Sunday as the Chargers defeated Stoneham 13-0, in the American Youth Football Northeast Championship game Sunday at Bentley University in Waltham.
The offense also made its presence felt in the Super Bowl. Warren Keel raced 50 yards for the first touchdown and Jordan D’Em had a 12-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to power the offense. Quarterback Javihan Martinez, coach Martinez’s son, was outstanding piloting the Chargers’ potent ground attack while also accounting for the one-point conversion rush after the second TD.
The Chargers defense showed its mettle in the first half when Stoneham drove to the 1-yard line only to be repelled by Lynn on the next four downs.
Coach Martinez cited the excellent defensive play of Dorian Philippe, Gavin Drake, Antonio Torres, Alexander Ventura, and Jordan D’Em as key factors in the victory.
The Chargers rolled past Peabody, 25-6, last week in the Northeast Youth Football League Crusaders Division championship game. Lynn finishes its season with a perfect 12-0 record. It is the third title for the Lynn organization and first-ever Super Bowl win.
“It was an amazing year for an amazing group of kids,” said Martinez. “I knew we had a very good team returning with nine returning defensive players (fourth graders) and the addition of two third graders (Jacob Peterson and Javihan Martinez) who all stepped up big.”
Junior Martinez played high school football at Lynn Tech for former coach Gary Sverker. The assistant coaches of the Chargers are John Peterson, Justin Day, John Burge, and Louis Marquez. Also playing a key leadership role was team mother Daisy Thompson Krochmal.
“I’m grateful to Brian Lozzi for giving me the opportunity to coach this year,” said Martinez.
Lozzi, who is in his fifth year as president of the Chargers organization that has 210 football players and cheerleaders, congratulated the team on bringing the Super Bowl championship trophy back to Lynn. The Lynn team had the largest rooting section of parents and supporters among all six Super Bowl teams.
“This was a very harmonious season with all the coaches, players, and parents getting along really well,” said Lozzi. “Junior is one of our senior coaches and with his experience over the past couple of years, he kind of found his groove this season.”
Lozzi also announced that the team will receive black and gold jackets with “Champions” embroidered prominently on them. The jackets and individual awards will be presented at the banquet.
After hearing that the players will receive championship jackets, Junior Martinez said, “It was a lot of work and it will make the kids feel great. They’ll be able to walk around with those jackets and have so much pride in their team and their city – being the first Chargers team to go to the Super Bowl and win it all. To go undefeated for 7-10 year-old players is a lot to be proud of.”