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9U Bartow County Panthers win NWGYFL D1 championship, 10U Panthers win D2 title, and 12U Panthers fi

The Bartow County Panthers youth football program won a pair of Northwest Georgia Youth Football League Super Bowl titles Saturday in league title games played at North Cobb High School.

The 9U Bartow Panthers defeated the Acworth Warriors to win the Division I championship in that age group. The 10U Bartow Panthers blanked the Rome Wolves to capture the Division II title for 10U and the 12U Bartow Panthers settled for a runner-up finish in Division I after suffering a 20-6 setback to the Douglasville TigerCubs.

In the 9U Panthers championship victory, Cooper Melvin received MVP honors and led all Bartow County tacklers on defense. He also rushed for 22 yards in the game. Bartow quarterback Trace Hawkins, who ran for 28 yards in the game, scored the 9U Panthers first touchdown on a one-yard run. The scoring play was set up by a 37-yard reception by Lance Tippett on a throw by Hawkins. The second Bartow score was an eight yard run by Solomon James. He had 28 yards on three carries during the drive and finished the day with 35 yards rushing. Kaiden Kent added 25 rushing yards for the 9U Panthers and J’Tayvious Whatley finished with 17 yards rushing.

In addition to Melvin’s MVP efforts, James, Whatley, and Nathan Woods were the leading tacklers for Bartow County. Bartow 9U is ranked No. 4 in the state B2C poll and will participate in the B2C State Tournament December 3-8.

In the Division 2 10U title game, the Bartow County Panthers blanked Rome, 32-0. Demarcus Ballenger had a trio of touchdown runs while Clay Hilburn and Jeremy Dent added one scoring run each. Ballenger scored on runs from 25, 30, and 13 yards out. Hilburn’s rushing touchdown was a 15-yarder and Dent found paydirt from 10 yards out. Dent also connected with Hilburn on one extra point. Eli Simmons had a fumble recovery on the defensive side for the 10U Panthers. He also recovered an onside kick by Jake Orton. “It was a great defensive effort by our guys,” noted Panthers’ coach Jody Orton. “We kept them off the scoreboard with a goal line stand and it was a great way to finish an outstanding season.” 10U Bartow outscored its opponents 386-37 during the 2019 season and finished with a 10-1 record.

The Bartow County 12U Panthers fell to the Douglasville TigerCubs in their NWGYFL DI Super Bowl. Douglasville defeated Bartow County three times during the regular season and playoffs to earn the league title. “The boys played their hearts out, but a couple of fumbles on the plus-side of the field and a massive (Douglasville) line proved to be too much for us to overcome,” said 12U Panthers’ coach Josh McWhorter. “We actually out gained them 286 to 247, but they capitalized on offense and we didn’t. That was the difference in the game and I personally take that blame,” McWhorter added.

12U Bartow totaled 216 yards rushing on 28 carries as a team and quarterback Brodie McWhorter was 7-for-20 passing for 70 yards. Isaiah Livsey and Baylon Long led the Panthers’ rushing attack with 81 and 80 yards, respectively. Livsey also had the lone Bartow County touchdown. Jacob Ellis added 57 rushing yards.

Talan Nix hauled in four pass receptions for 48 yards. Keve Porter caught two passes for 15 yards and Logan Shrewsbury had a 7 yard reception.

Ellis led the defense with 7.5 tackles. Long finished with 6.5 stops. Nix and Jachai Delgado had 4.5 tackles. Livsey made three tackles. Kelson Mitchell contributed 2.5 tackles. Bear McWhorter and Shrewsbury finished with two tackles each. Cooper Moon, Bryce Wilson, and Xavier Parker had one stop each.


Information for the youth football updates provided by the Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department, the Bartow County Parks and Recreation Department, and the Bartow County Panthers youth football program. The updates are sponsored on Bartow Sports Zone by Cici's - Beyond Pizza in the Cherokee Place Shopping Center in Cartersville.

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