After his Mighty Mites earned back-to-back championships, coach Leon Taylor knows a little something about success, and from watching his players on the sidelines over the past two years, he knows a little something about fun, too.
"The main thing is that we want everyone, the kids on the field, the parents and family in the stands, we want everyone to have fun," said Taylor as he prepares to take on a new role, vice-president of the Chino Valley Youth Football and Cheer league.
Taylor and new league president Michael Gilpin are heading a re-vamp of the CVYFB program, complete with a brand new board that includes treasurer Jesse Harmon, secretary Laura Goulding, fundraising coordinator Kharma Lindsey, and snack shack manager Annie Mortensen.
In addition to the fun factor, both Gilpin and Taylor are stressing safety for their young athletes, and are working at replacing some of the league's existing equipment with newer, more advanced gear.
"We are starting a Helmets for Heads campaign," said Gilpin. "We really like the Xenith football helmet. It's the first helmet designed from the ground up with concussion prevention in mind."
While the CVYFB league hasn't had a major problem with injuries, Taylor says the focus on safety can't start too early. His own Mighty Mite team has been injury free for two seasons.
"We have had some injuries in the older divisions, but that's going to happen as the kids get bigger and stronger," said Taylor. "What we want to let the parents in Chino Valley know is that this can be a really safe game and we are focusing on their protection and helping their kids learn to love this game."
Gilpin said the league plans on transitioning into the Xenith gear over the next few years.
Another goal of the new board is to strengthen the communication between board members, the players and parents, something Gilpin says will boost player enjoyment, as well as open new volunteer opportunities for local parents.
"We have some coaching opportunities we need to fill, but all of our parents are really busy, some can't dedicate that kind of time," said Gilpin. "We want them to know that even if they are only available for an hour or two on game days, we'll find something for them to do. Helping out on the field, working in the snack shack, anything they can do to help, we really need them."
Taylor invites local businesses to get in the game as well by taking advantage of new team sponsorship.
"We're asking the community to come out an sponsor us," said Taylor. "Businesses can get their logo on the uniforms and get some great exposure in the community."
Taylor and several other coaches will be conducting an introductory training camp on May 29, 30, and 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., where kids will be able to drill in some football basics. The cost of the camp is a suggested $10 donation.
The age range for the league, which begins play in September with the Northern AZ Youth Football League (NAYF), is from 5 to 14 years old.
Registration days will be at the Chino Valley Walgreen's, 1020 North Highway 89, on Saturday, May 18 and June 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and June 20 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Visit www.chinovalleycougars.net or www.facebook.com/ChinoValleyYouthFootballAndCheer for more information.
To register for the May 29, 30, and 31 camp, call coach Taylor at 928-237-6764.
For more information on Northern AZ Youth Football, visit: www.nayf.clubspaces.com.
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Article comment by:
Don't B Fooled
FUN? It's all about fun? This coach knows nothing about fun! All he knows and cares about is winning! Take a look at his past history of running up scores on other teams - continuing to play his "star" players when they are winning 30 -0 - yep that's fun!!
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Article comment by:
How are their grades? Do the coaches spend as much time talking to the youth about grades and respect in school as they do football? How many of those youngsters in the high dollar uniforms, big bucks shoes, high ticket club dues, and large travel expenses are on "free or reduced" lunch in school?
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Article comment by:
parent for cheer
why is it that there is never anything said about cheer who also won back to back two years in a row. it seems that the board does not care about the cheer leaders.