they finished within touching distance of the trophy last season and enjoyed a stunning victory in their last game on Sunday.
But Leeds Varsity Bobcats still don’t have a home to call their own – despite being one of the top-rated American Football teams in the north of England.
The team of 16 to 19-year-olds currently play their home fixtures at Leeds Corinthians RUFC in Middleton, where they will continue to base themselves until the current season ends in July.
But next year, head coach Paul Goodward hopes to find a more permanent base for his young talents.
He is also hoping to find more youngsters to join his squad, with several of his current players due to pass the age limit for the team.
The 41-year-old, from Wortley, told the YEP: “The players are all different colours, creeds and religions. Some of them are from council estates, some of them have swimming pools in their gardens.
“It’s about bringing people together and working hard, but also enjoying yourself.”
Last season, Leeds Varsity Bobcats reached the play-off stages of the British American Football Association (BAFA) Youth League North Division and narrowly lost out in the final of the first-ever Youth American Football Springbowl tournament.
On Sunday, they beat Gateshead Senators 32-12 and have won two out of three games so far this season – making them top of the league.
One of the Bobcats’ star players, wide receiver Al Whitehead, was even called up to the Great British youth team last year.
The 18-year-old, from Boston Spa, said: “There’s a really good team spirit here, we work well together as a unit.”
Mr Goodward added: “The lads are so dedicated. If we could find somewhere with a pitch and clubhouse, that would be great. It doesn’t matter if it’s run down, because the lads can do it up.”
For more information visit: www.leedsvarsitybobcats.co.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org