LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Watts Bears, a unique team coached by members of the Los Angeles Police Department, are the new L.A. County Pop Warner Southern Conference Champions.
The football team, which consists of players who live in housing projects in Watts, beat the odds and are thankful for their law enforcement coaches.
"We don't really like think of them as police officers. We just think of them as the coaches," Dominic Conner said.
They've been waiting six long years to be called champions. The team was honored for their win over Palos Verdes on Wednesday by Chief Charlie Back at an LAPD recruit graduation ceremony.
"I am hoping that out of the 11 of you that were able to come that one or two of you may decide that you want to sit in those seats," Beck said.
The young athletes admit they were at first skeptical of police officers taking an interest in their lives, but they eventually began to trust them.
They said the program has taught them to give back, and some even said they hope to one day become a police officer. Others have said they want to go to the NFL, and officers said they will do what they can to support the kids.
Watts Bears, football team coached by LAPD, honored at grad ceremony