By Tamas Mondovics
The Valrico Rams Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization announced last month its efforts to join the largest youth football and cheerleading organization.
With the beginning of its eighth year of competition this fall, the Rams will do so as part of the Pop Warner Little Scholars program, which boasts of member organizations in 42 states and a total participant base of over 400,000 young football players and cheerleaders.
“The mission of Pop Warner Little Scholars fits perfectly with the mission of the Valrico Rams,” said Rams president, Ernest Matthews. “Our goal is to introduce young boys and girls to football and cheerleading in a positive environment.”
With the move, the Rams will be the first Valrico-Brandon organization to be honored with membership and the third organization in Brandon, FishHawk and Riverview to be chosen to affiliate with Pop Warner, thus joining the FishHawk Wolfpack and the Southshore Longhorns as Pop Warner member organizations.
The affiliation also allows the organization to compete in the Foundation for Youth Development “Pop Warner” Associations conference.
“We had good competitive success in 2012 with all five of our football teams making it into the playoffs,” he said. “Three of our teams advanced to the Conference semi-finals in 2012.”
While expecting continued success on the football field as a Pop Warner affiliate, the Rams focus is not all about the trophies.
“We pride ourselves in teaching our kids life lessons, teamwork, responsibility, sportsmanship, and respect,” Matthews said.
The Rams have been in their present facility at Valrico Park located at 707 S. Miller Rd. since 2010 and are committed to being in a position to be a fixture in Hillsborough County for years to come.
As a bonus, Pop Warner provides opportunities for the Rams to field teams for children with special needs in their Challenger Division, as well as the opportunity to advance teams to the Pop Warner Super Bowl at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World if the get through conference and regional playoffs.
The Rams have scheduled registration for its upcoming season on Saturday, April 20, May 18 and June 22, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Rams Field in Valrico.
For more information, please, visit www.valricorams.org., or call 992-5278.