All the stars aligned at Silverdale Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 9, when the perfect storm of successes came ready to reign. In the biggest battle of their seasons, the undefeated Warren Avenue Knights met their match in the unbeaten Silverdale Spartans during the Kitsap Peninsula Adult Pee Wee Championship.
“It was someone’s turn to lose,” said Gina Paulsen of Silverdale, Wash., a devoted Spartans mom. “To say it was exciting would be an understatement. Our boys had an incredible winning streak going, with not one point scored on them all season. This was the game to claim it all!”
The Spartans had skunked every opponent this year, collectively 364-0, while the Knights came in with an even grander record – a three-year, 26-game winning streak and six consecutive B-string championship titles.
“Our boys definitely wanted the upset. But going into the championship, I was just so proud of my Noah – so proud of them all – no matter what the outcome,” she said. “He had put in the work to be there and was ready to see it through. His commitment and teamwork, both on and off the field, is what the coaching staff has really promoted. They are grooming them to be good people, as well as good players.”
It takes only one visit with 12-year-old Noah Paulsen to realize his character. “This wasn’t just about beating our rival, this was about doing my absolute best,” said the young middle linebacker and right tackle. “Football is my favorite sport because it’s taught me how to get out there and give it my all.”
All for one and one for all it was on the field that day as the Spartans destroyed the running dynasty in a 16-0 win. “I was in shock, just so happy that I got teary-eyed,” Noah said. “They were tears of joy sharing in the moment.”
Having grown up together, Noah has played with many of the same boys since he started flag football at age 5. “They are with each other more than two hours a day, six days a week,” said Gina. “We’re definitely a family.”
At the helm of that household is a great role model. “Head Coach David Johnson truly is my hero,” said Noah. “I’ve got to give credit to him. He’s always been there for me. He coaches all three sports I play – football, basketball and baseball – has a crazy busy schedule running his own business, but somehow makes time for us. Because of him, and the other coaches, I’ve learned responsibility, made friends I wouldn’t have otherwise, stayed active, understand the game, and love to play – win or lose.”
Watching Noah’s development through football brings both his mom and older sister, 15-year-old Alyssa, great joy. “I think team sports teach kids so many incredible life lessons,” Gina said. “It really brings you together. Aly is Noah’s biggest cheerleader. We’re all going through our withdrawals now.”
Noah has another section of fans over at Clear Creek Dentistry. “The Paulsens are a great family. I’ve enjoyed seeing and following them for many years now,” said Dr. Haws. “This is so cool! The perfect ending to a perfect season.”
With the memory of 18 screaming tween boys ringing in his ears, Noah sums up the serendipitous sequence of events by repeating a team cheer, “What time is it? Spartans!” That it is indeed.