Kids' fooball superbowl contenders

Mount Vernon Youth Football Pee Wee Division coach Brad Sokol Jr. works with his players Wednesday at LaVenture Elementary School in Mount Vernon.

MOUNT VERNON — The Sokols are Super Bowl-bound.

Brad Sokol Sr. and Brad Sokol Jr. coach Mount Vernon Youth Football teams that will take to the field Saturday in championship games.

Sokol Sr. coaches the Midget Division team playing at 9 a.m. Saturday at Mount Vernon High School against a fellow Mount Vernon Youth Football squad, Midget Black. Sokol Jr.’s team will square off against Lakewood at 4 p.m. for the Pee Wee Division championship.

“So we have three teams in the Super Bowl this year,” Sokol Sr. said of the league. “It’s too bad we have to play another team from Mount Vernon.”

The Midget Division is for players 9 and 10 years old, while the Pee Wee Division is for those 7-8.

The older Sokol has coached every age division over the years and won a Pee Wee Super Bowl title in 2017 and a Midget title in 2015.

While the elder Sokol has been coaching youth football for decades and was the founder of the Mount Vernon Youth Football program, the younger Sokol is finishing up his rookie season as a coach.

Yes, Sokol Sr. started it all 1993 and has been on the sidelines, in the huddles and producing football players for the green-and-black-clad Bulldogs ever since.

When he first arrived in the Skagit Valley, he coached in Burlington-Edison’s youth football program. That was the program his son played in.

“I have always just loved the sport,” Sokol Sr. said.”Towns need youth football. It gives kids the opportunity to get off the streets. I couldn’t do this alone. There are so many other volunteers. They make this work. Like I said, I couldn’t do it without them. Together, they make this a great program.”

The younger Sokol saved the Pee Wee team from disbanding this season because it didn’t have a coach. Plus, his son Kai plays on the team.

“My dad is everything to me,” the younger Sokol said. “He’s my father, my mentor, my friend. I see how good he is to these kids out here and it’s nothing short of admirable.”

The younger Sokol said he never saw himself coaching youth football, despite the fact he coached several years at the high school level.

“I always thought I was above coaching youth football,” he said. “But we’re doing it the right way and I have a lot of help.”

He has enjoyed his first season in the program.

“They are a great group of kids,” he said. “They are really like a bunch of sponges. They soak everything in. They are a lot of fun to coach.”

Sokol Sr. paid his son the ultimate compliment.

“He’s a good coach,” Sokol Sr. said. “He’s good with the kids and good with the parents. He stepped in and really helped to keep things going and it has been a good season for both teams.”

Going into Saturday, Sokol Sr. knows how to motivate his team.

“I’ll bring out the 2015 Super Bowl trophy,” he said. “That will be cool. The kids will be excited. I’ll be excited. I just really like what I do.”

And who knows, maybe next year both Sokols will have trophies to show.

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