HOWE — Making it to the Super Bowl is the dream of many a little league football player. That dream has come true, in a way, for the undefeated Howe Bulldogs, a team that features players from kindergarten through second grade. The team will play in the little league Super Bowl in Howe on Saturday.

HOWE — Making it to the Super Bowl is the dream of many a little league football player. That dream has come true, in a way, for the undefeated Howe Bulldogs, a team that features players from kindergarten through second grade. The team will play in the little league Super Bowl in Howe on Saturday.


The team lost all but two games over the last two years, and this year they scored 256 points and allowed their opponents only 36 points.


Going undefeated all of the way to the Super Bowl is only one of the Bulldog’s unique aspects. The team roster also includes a girl, Camryn Boatman, age 8, as an offensive lineman. Camryn said she likes football because "you get to tackle." She said she decided on her own to play football.


At first, she said, the boys were intimidating, but now she feels comfortable with them. "They really hang out with me sometimes. Most boys don’t like to hang out with girls," she said.


Head Coach Mike Portman seems supportive of his entire team. When asked about coaching Camryn, he said, "I guess she knows the obstacles ahead of her, … but I mean, her talent is recognized. She’s gained (the team’s) confidence."


And Camryn feels support from the town. She described a moment when her sister, in the cheerleading squad, "made a big sign and the cheerleaders screamed my name." Camryn doesn’t seem to have too many airs about playing football: "I like to show girls you can play football … actually a lot of girls want to join me sometimes," she said.


Camryn’s mother, Taya Boatman, described her daughter as "very strong headed. She has so much more courage than I would ever have and so much more initiative than I would ever have. Cameron takes it to heart."


Having a lot of heart, in fact, may capture the spirit of the entire team. "These kids never quit," said Tasha Kuykendall, mother of Bulldogs Rowdy and Beaudy.


"These coaches are so much more than football coaches. They hold them to a high standard. They expect them to learn more than just football," said Heather Stephens, mother of Bulldog Beau.


There is a rigorous discipline employed during practice with regular running and penalties for faulty school marks. Monty Walker, offensive coordinator and father of Bulldog Mahlon Walker, said teamwork is the philosophy behind their coaching.


Stephens said her son Beau "knows that (his) position in this team is where he needs to be. They all know it takes every one of them for one person to (carry the ball across the goal line). … They know the game in their heads."


They also know some things are in much bigger hands than theirs and pray before and after every game. "We teach our kids to glorify God and not ourselves," said Walker. The focus, Walker said, is "to never quit." He described the team chant: "I’ll scream, ‘Never,’ and they’ll scream ‘quit’!"


"I hope they maintain an element of teamwork and brotherhood. There are no individuals," Walker said.


The mothers echoed that philosophy: "Nobody thinks they’re the star of the team. They want each other to do well," said Stephens.


The fact that they have accepted a female player is unusual in the town’s little league football history, but the mothers are enthusiastic. "If they get to continue to play together, the kids are going to be excellent," said Boatman.


"If we could keep this team together for the next 18 years, I would be happy," said Kuykendall.


Because of their success they have been invited to play in November in the Red Zone Games at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas.


Other Bulldogs are Tristian Trivette, David Grant, Elijah Morrison, Gage Carr, Kelton Denham, Devon Wallace, Garren Lankford, Gage Troxtell, Brayden Bahr, Jesse Portman, Jacob Campbell, Cooper Jones, and Garrett Gibbs. The team is also coached by Jeff Denham and Thomas Troxtel.