Waianae (Hawaii) team wins state's first Pop Warner national championship

Photo by Gerardo Mora / IPAPHOTO.COM for Pop Warner

On Friday, a Pop Warner team from Hawaii made history.

The Junior Pee Wee Waianae (Hawaii) Tigers beat the Creeks Outlaws (Jacksonville, Fla.) by a 16-8 score to secure the 61st annual DII Junior Pee Wee Pop Warner National Championship.

In doing so, the Tigers became the first Hawaiian Pop Warner football team ever to win a national title.

A team in 2005 was co-champs, but no other team from Hawaii has been an outright champion.

Coaches and members of the Waianae (Hawaii) Tigers Division II Junior Pee Wee team celebrate Friday’s championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. Photo by Gerardo Mora / IPAPHOTO.COM for POP WARNER

Led by head coach James Joseph, the Tigers have made it to the Pop Warner Super Bowl four times under the leadership of three generations of the Joseph family. In 2015 the Tigers won their first game at Disney, but fell short in the semifinals. This year, the Tigers walk away from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and return to Honolulu with the state’s first national title.

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