Wolfpack goes undefeated
© Culpeper TimesThe Culpeper Football Association had a perfect day for its championship games held at Eastern View High School’s Cyclone Stadium last Saturday.
Championship games were played in the Anklebiter, Mighty Mite, Midget and Bandit divisions.
The Mighty Mite championship had the undefeated Wolfpack (10-0); last season’s defending champions, going face mask to face mask with the Tigers (6-4).
This was the Wolfpack’s third-straight appearance in the championship. The Wolfpack, led by head coach Lynn Hackley, has now won two of the last three championships in its division.
The Wolfpack, powered by a stingy defense plus numerous big plays from its quarterback Maliq Brown, garnered a 30-7 victory to earn a champions trophy.
In the subsequent afterglow of victory teammates, parents and fans smiled, snapped photos and held their trophies aloft.
“We really have a bunch of good kids who want to play, learn the game and work hard,” said Hackley “We have good coaches, who work well with the kids and parents who support us throughout the season.”
When the name Maliq Brown is mentioned smiles break out unless you play on the opposing side.
The Wolfpack’s 8-year-old star had six carries for over 314 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns
He broke big plays of 70, 60 and 40 yards while leaving defenders grabbing for air and bits of turf grass.
When his helmet comes off Brown is a kid of few words but lots of big plays.
His stride has an easy grace that often cloaks his speed.
He simply makes a few cuts and he’s off down the sideline for another touchdown.
Looking a bit deeper his family is packed full of athletes from football to basketball—in fact he’s just the newest star in a family of stars.
“What’s his secret? There’s no secret he’s just a really good kid—straight A’s, a hard worker and yes, it’s in his blood,” said a beaming Tasha Brown, Maliq’s mother following the game. “He’s also a great singer at St. Stevens Baptist Church.”
Brown is certainly a multi-talented young man by all accounts.
His grandfather “Sonny” Bowles, a notable local athlete in his own right was a state basketball champion in 1973 on Culpeper County’s greatest basketball team ―a team that won a Class AA title with a 24-3 record and helped unite a community.
Bowles stood along a fence watching his grandson’s gridiron deeds.
Bowles says Maliq likes to “dodge furniture” while perfecting his cuts, spins and jukes.
There’s also a glint of pride in his eyes when he speaks about “Liq” simply as a grandson.
“He’s a good kid and gets wonderful grades,” added Bowles. “Just watch out if he gets a little sugar. He runs all over the place.”
His uncle Bradley Starks, 23, was also on hand to witness Brown’s amazing game. He is a former Orange County high school standout and graduate of West Virginia University.
As a Mountaineer he was an outstanding wide out. Starks graduated this past May and is currently preparing for a tryout with the Oakland Raiders.
He also sees limitless potential in Brown.
“Maliq is very gifted. At times he reminds me of myself. He’s a tall skinny kid with speed,” said Starks. “We all used to love playing youth football and I see that same joy with Maliq and his teammates. He’s a great kid. I’m very happy for him.”
It appears to be easier for Brown to dodge tackles than hear so many accolades on his game.
“My teammates…we work hard in practice and in games,” said Maliq with a calm smile. “We worked hard as a team to get here.”
His secret is straightforward and quick, just like his breakaway speed.
“Exercise,” he added. “I exercise every day.”