Richmond Steelers honored by city after winning national title

Richmond Steelers honored by city after winning national title
Richmond Steelers honored at the Richmond City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

The City of Richmond honored the Richmond Steelers Tuesday after its U9 football team triumphed as national champions in December.

The team also achieved league and regional titles before marching its way to the national title game, during which it defeated the Los Angeles Chiefs 13-8 on Dec. 15. 

“This series of victories has not only shown the team’s dedication, teamwork, and competitive spirit but has also brought great pride and recognition to our community, to Richmond,” Mayor Eduardo Martinez told players, coaches and parents in City Council Chambers.

Head Coach Namon West III extended gratitude to the supportive coaches, parents and also the kids, many of whom additionally excel in the classroom. He called coaching the kids, whom he calls “Steel Scholars,” a “true honor” and added this team will be “forever remembered in Richmond history.”

“They will be able to tell their kids’ kids’ kids about [the city honor] and how they made a difference with the Richmond Steelers Football & Cheer,” Coach West said.

Players on the championship team include Amazi-Jeremiah Parnell, Patrick Burton, Damon Dixon, Dameion West, Kairee Fredzess Jr., Josiah Sandeford, Jamariea Newt Jr., Alanzo Polee, Braylen Watikins, Paris Webster, Kiev Meriwether Jr., Leonardo Perez, Kingston Odom, Geordan Tanner, Jordan Graves, Jaylen Thompson, Ah’Leciana Cathey, Dysen Davis, Eduardo De Lara, Loyal Cathey, Reno Siaki, Micah Stallings, Jaxson Davidson, and Salesi Kata.

The team’s staff includes Equipment Manager Chyanne Tanner, Team and Business Manager Katrice West, and Assistant Coaches Anthony Cathey, Donny Davis, Kairee Fredzess, Greg Parker, Ralph Robinson, Rich Siaki and Carlos Watkins.

The Steelers persevered despite facing “trials and tribulations,” with Coach West noting his players once practiced without lights at Nicholl Park and also practiced amidst incidents of violent crime. He called upon the city to support youth football and a program that has fostered youth athletics and sportsmanship for about five decades.