Providence Pop Warner team sets sights on national championship

Street Stories

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The hottest football team in Southern New England right now isn’t the Patriots.

It’s actually the Mount Hope Cowboys from Providence.

The 10-U Pop Warner Team went 12-0 this season and outscored their opponents by more than 200 points.

“They’re good,” Cowboys assistant coach Chachi Carvalho said with a laugh. “They’re fast and fun to watch.”

The Cowboys play in the Eastern Massachusetts league since they’re the only Division I 10-U Pop Warner Team in Rhode Island.

This past season, they allowed just six points in 12 games, according to Carvalho, which is why they’ll now be competing against teams from across the country in the 2021 Pop Warner National Championships.

Carvalho, who’s also an educator at Shea High School in Pawtucket, said he’s proud of his team, which is made up of 9- and 10-year-old boys from all around the state.

“They’re just great kids who are talented, funny and get along like brothers,” he said.

Since they were sidelined last year due to the pandemic, Carvalho said the team deserves this opportunity more than anything.

The Cowboys are a family affair for Carvalho, whose son Cairo is on the team.

“It feels pretty good, just keeping on the legacy because my grandfather and my dad played and me and my brother play,” he said.

Cowboys running back Antonio Dennis is confident the team won’t leave Orlando without winning it all.

“We have a very good offense, good backfield, good receivers and our quarterback can throw,” Dennis explained.

Head coach Herlin Perry said this will be the first time most of the boys have been on an airplane.

While he wants them to enjoy the new and exciting experience, Perry said he plans to continuously remind the team why they’re there.

“It’s all about keeping them focused,” Perry added. “A lot of the kids have never been down there … but they have to focus on the game, so that’s a challenge in itself.”

While Perry loves wearing short sleeves in the cold, his players are looking forward to playing in warmer weather.

“It’s going to feel really nice,” Cairo Carvalho said. “I am super done playing in the cold.”

The Cowboys are raising money to offset the trip’s expenses. Donations can be submitted through:

  • CashApp: Mount Hope Cowboys
  • Venmo: MountHopeCowboys
  • Paypal: MountHopeCowboys@gmail.com

Written checks can also be sent to:

  • Mount Hope Neighborhood Association
    199 Camp St.
    Providence, R.I. 02906

The 2021 Pop Warner National Championships begin Dec. 4.

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