Putting the Pop in youth football

Mesa County will have two leagues this fall

QUICKREAD


The foundation of football success at the high school and college levels begin many years before.

Football is a contact sport, and kids can get the feel for the full-contact sport at an early age here in Grand Junction.

This year there will be a pair of options for parents to get their kids involved in youth football.

The Mesa County Junior Football Association is in its 37th year and the Western Slope Pop Warner League will hold its first season this year.

Both organizations will hold final registrations this weekend. WSPWL registration will be held at Sports Authority in the Mesa Mall on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. MCJFA registration will be held at its office behind the B&H Sports building at 599 Northgate Dr. Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on both days.

Armon Jorden decided to start a local Pop Warner league last year.

“Our hope for Mesa County is we can start this off well,” he said. “I fell in love with the (Pop Warner) program, and they do such a great job with the kids.”

There are some differences between the two leagues.The nationally affiliated Pop Warner program incorporates academic standards into its requirements.

“They really try and tie football and academics together and I really like that,” said Jorden, who moved to the area eight years ago from Arizona.

“Football is a privilege and we will hold you accountable to your academics too,” he added.

He said the system works with players and their teachers to help if a youngster is struggling with low grades. As long as the player is working with a teacher and working to improve, Jorden said players will continue to play.

The Pop Warner League is open to players from 5 to 14 years old.

Jorden said he thinks there will be around 300 players for the first season.

According MCJFA President Jim Bratcher, its league has had around 35 teams and more than 800 kids participating in past years.

“I have a lot of really good coaches,” Bratcher said. “Liiterally we have grandpas who have coached and played in this league and now their grandsons are playing.”

The league is split into two seasons with the fall leagues open to players 10 through 15 years old, or fifth through eighth graders. The spring leagues are for with 7, 8 and 9-year-old players. They do not offer a league for high school freshmen.

The two leagues will play independently against other teams from their individual leagues.

Pop Warner has playoff structure where teams at there pee wee and midget levels can advance to regional and national games. Jorden said there’s the possibility of playing against other Pop Warner teams from other areas.

The MCJFA holds a super bowl in mid-October.

For more information on the WSPWL, see its Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GrandValleyPopWarnerLeague.

For more information on the MCJFA call 245-0725 or go to http://www.mcjfa.org.

The foundation of football success at the high school and college levels begin many years before.

Football is a contact sport, and kids can get the feel for the full-contact sport at an early age here in Grand Junction.

This year there will be a pair of options for parents to get their kids involved in youth football.

The Mesa County Junior Football Association is in its 37th year and the Western Slope Pop Warner League will hold its first season this year.

Both organizations will hold final registrations this weekend. WSPWL registration will be held at Sports Authority in the Mesa Mall on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. MCJFA registration will be held at its office behind the B&H Sports building at 599 Northgate Dr. Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on both days.

Armon Jorden decided to start a local Pop Warner league last year.

“Our hope for Mesa County is we can start this off well,” he said. “I fell in love with the (Pop Warner) program, and they do such a great job with the kids.”

There are some differences between the two leagues.The nationally affiliated Pop Warner program incorporates academic standards into its requirements.

“They really try and tie football and academics together and I really like that,” said Jorden, who moved to the area eight years ago from Arizona.

“Football is a privilege and we will hold you accountable to your academics too,” he added.

He said the system works with players and their teachers to help if a youngster is struggling with low grades. As long as the player is working with a teacher and working to improve, Jorden said players will continue to play.

The Pop Warner League is open to players from 5 to 14 years old.

Jorden said he thinks there will be around 300 players for the first season.

According MCJFA President Jim Bratcher, its league has had around 35 teams and more than 800 kids participating in past years.

“I have a lot of really good coaches,” Bratcher said. “Liiterally we have grandpas who have coached and played in this league and now their grandsons are playing.”

The league is split into two seasons with the fall leagues open to players 10 through 15 years old, or fifth through eighth graders. The spring leagues are for with 7, 8 and 9-year-old players. They do not offer a league for high school freshmen.

The two leagues will play independently against other teams from their individual leagues.

Pop Warner has playoff structure where teams at there pee wee and midget levels can advance to regional and national games. Jorden said there’s the possibility of playing against other Pop Warner teams from other areas.

The MCJFA holds a super bowl in mid-October.

For more information on the WSPWL, see its Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GrandValleyPopWarnerLeague.

For more information on the MCJFA call 245-0725 or go to http://www.mcjfa.org.


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