Just like the pros

Doak Walker might not fill uniforms, but their dreams are big


The Vikings and the Raiders had just completed a knockdown, drag-out melee but there was no post-game talk of Randy Moss and Dante Culpepper. Instead, the players were asking their parents what was for dinner.

The little guys who barely filled out the uniforms representing two pro teams were third- and fourth-graders from Craig in the Doak Walker League.

In the game, the eye black-clad Vikings kept their undefeated streak alive with a win against the Raiders. But instead of bragging and showing off, the players were more interested in talking about their NFL dreams.

"One day, we'll be in the pros," said the Vikings' Dylan Villa. "But right now, though, it's hard to tackle the smallest guys."

Several of the Raiders said they were big Denver Broncos fans, and they didn't really like being the Black and Silver but, "Those are the uniforms we got, so we're Raiders this year," Brenden Spencer said.

For the third-graders, it's their first year of organized football.

The Vikings' Tyler Davis was enjoying his first season because, "I get to run the ball and score the touchdowns."

Joe Camilletti said he likes getting pumped up before the game when his coach puts the eye black on his face.

The Doak Walker League, which is run by Craig Parks and Recreation, has games for third- and fourth-graders on Wednesdays and fifth- and sixth-graders on Tuesdays at Woodbury Park throughout the fall. The league is helped by volunteer coaches and referees who either volunteer or get paid enough to cover the gas to drive to and from the game.

"It's all about the kids," referee Brett Sperl said.

There are teams from Craig and Hayden in each league.

The Vikings and Raiders unanimously agreed that they feel like the guys who play on Sunday. They also shouted a resounding yes when asked whether it was exciting to tackle someone.

"It's just a lot of fun," the Vikings' Tyler Gerber said.

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