The Fab Five was the nickname given to the University of Michigan's prized basketball recruiting class of 1991, a brash group headed by future NBA stars Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, and Juwan Howard.
A collection of 10-year-old athletes from Oregon also go by The Fab Five moniker, and they recently claimed their highest honor since coming together as teammates a few years ago.
The flag football team of Michael McGee, Reese Wamer, Jake Novak, Brody Leichty, and Dempsey Coughlin, along with their 12-year-old teammates Tyler Wolff and Andrew Finfrock, followed up an undefeated regular season locally with a championship June 26 in the Tourney 4 Causes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
The Toledo Browns, as the team is known as, defeated the Gahanna Browns, 14-6 in the championship game of the 10 and 12-year-old division. The Toledo Browns managed to win all seven of their games in the two-day event.
"What these kids bring to the table is they're extremely athletic and they accepted the team philosophy," coach Mike McGee said.
Whether it is football, baseball, or any other sport, McGee and Jeff Wamer are the coaches of The Fab Five. The members are entering the fifth grade at Starr Elementary and have been friends since preschool.
Three plays stand out most as being instrumental to the Browns winning the championship game. The first came as time expired in the first half as Wolff pulled the flag of an opponent a yard or two shy of the end zone.
With about five minutes to go in the game, Wamer intercepted a pass near the goal line to thwart a scoring chance and maintain a 14-6 lead. The Browns faced fourth-and-20 on their ensuing possession, and a first down would likely seal the win.
Wamer ran a route about five yards short of the first down marker and then hauled in a pass from McGee before turning up field to secure the first down.
"When I took the snap, it was very hard to pass it because the defense was surrounding my receiver," McGee said. "But I found another receiver to pass to, and thank God he caught it."
Wamer understood the significance of his catch.
"At that point, I knew we were going to win the championship," Wamer said.
The road to the championship began in the spring when the Browns went 9-0 in a league sponsored by the NFL that was held at the Lucas County Recreation Center. Winning the Tourney 4 Causes tournament was especially satisfying for the Browns because many of their opponents were teams comprised mostly of 11 and 12-year-olds.
The Browns expect to reunite next year but they must fill the roster spots of Wolff and Finfrock who will have exceeded the 12-year age limit by next spring.
"It was exciting because I wasn't expecting us to win the whole tournament with these huge, gigantic people walking around me when I'm 4-foot-4," McGee said.
Contact Ryan Autullo at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6160