They may have come up short, but the Hesperia Trojans didn't stop fighting until the final seconds fell off the clock.


The 2013 season for the youth football program was a strong one despite playoff losses and program officials said they're proud of the boys' efforts.


Up against a tough team in the Corona Gold, coaches Robert Ponser, Ronnie McDaniel, Richard Fernandez and "Coach T" led the Trojan's Jr. PeeWee 2 team into battle in Yucaipa on Saturday morning. Jacob Para scored the Trojans' only touchdown on a 70-yard run, but championship hopes were dashed as Hesperia lost to Corona 42-6.


"We were 8-1 (on the season), losing in the third round of playoffs to Corona Gold, but finishing strong," McDaniel said. "It was a pleasure coaching all the kids looking forward to everyone returning and making championships next year."


The previous weekend, tough games and last-minute scores rounded out the season for the program's four other teams.


The Trojans' Midgets team ended the season on a 7-2 record, losing 32-16 to the Corona Blue in a playoff game at Centennial High School in Corona. The Midgets' defense played tough and program officials said the season was great nonetheless.


The Jr. Micro team headed into the playoffs with a 4-4 regular season record for a game against the Menifee Wildcats at Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore. In a bout that was close in score from kick-off to the last play, officials said the Trojan boys played their hearts out in one of their best games of the season.


Menifee claimed the victory 6-7 over Hesperia.


Hesperia's Micro 1 team started the playoffs also against Menifee in Murrieta. Hesperia's Nathan Glover recovered a fumble for a touchdown in the second quarter, but the Trojans ultimately lost 26-6.


"Our boys have worked their butts off to get to where we did," Micro 1 Head Coach Shawn Hawkins said. "Proud of all of our boys. (It takes) little more to make a champion."


In somewhat of a Cinderella story, the Trojans' Micro 2, a group of youngsters ages 8 to 10, got off to a rough start for the 2013 season. After two initial heartbreaking losses, Head Coach Sean Gutierrez rallied his team to seven consecutive wins. Micro 2 wrapped up their division in week 8, earning a division championship and a first-round playoff bye.


The quarterfinal match, however, would prove to be another heartbreaker as Hesperia lost to Hemet 18-12 in overtime.


Assistant Head Coach Brad Hulbert said the underscore on Micro 2's season was the growth process as a unit.


"I'm so proud of our boys," Hulbert said. He was part of a coaching team that included Gutierrez, Rob Ridge, Frank Gillis, Dave Thompson and Travis Libuse. "Considering over half of our team were first-year players, they really learned a lot and came together as a team. We had a great run this year."


The Trojans moved from Division 2 to Division 1 in the Southern California Jr. All American Football and Cheer league between 2012 and 2013. Jr. Micro Coach Paul Lane said the switch between divisions tested the Trojans' teams, but the players showed their strengths with each game.


"With the move up this year to Division 1, we couldn't have asked more from our boys. They played their hearts out game after game and always left everything on the field," Lane said. "In the end, it paid off as we made the playoffs in what could only be considered a great season."


Martial Haprov may be reached at 760-951-6236 or at MHaprov@VVDailyPress.com.