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Denton County October 2012

We’re Back!

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Tyelor York, #52 of the FMYFA 11-12 Spider Monkeys, getting ready to take the snap.

Player for the FMYSA 6U Jaguars is ready to hit the ball out of the park!

FMYSA Rattlers player knocks one to the outfield.

Spirit Sports Photography

Spirit Sports Photography

Spirit Sports Photography

Vikings player tries to escape a tackle while heading toward the end zone Strickland MS vs. Calhoun MS.

Cougars player determined to get down the field - Strickland MS vs. Calhoun MS.

Student Showcase

Flower Mound

1121 Flower Mound Road, Suite 550 Flower Mound, TX 75028


FREE Diagnostic Assessment & 2 FREE Tutoring Sessions With Enrollment. Expires 10/31/2012

Reading � Math � Writing Study Skills � Pre-Algebra Algebra � Geometry Algebra II

Kristen Kash

The Tutoring Center’s fun, proven, unique, one-to-one instruction known as The Rotational Approach to Learning ™ helps children improve their confidence, concentration and self esteem while strengthening the academic skills they need to succeed in school. This month Our Student Showcase features Kristen Kash, an eighth grader at Downing Middle School. She has been coming to The Tutoring Center since the beginning of the summer. Kristen shares a bit about herself and what she likes about The Tutoring Center, Flower Mound. Q: What’s your favorite school subject? A: English because I like writing . Q: What’s your favorite sport? A: Basketball

Photo by Helen's Photography

Q: What’s your favorite activity outside of school? A: Going to dance and Lifetime Fitness Q: What do you like about going to The Tutoring Center? A: It’s really fun and we get praised Q: What’s your favorite part of going to tutoring? A: The teachers because they are really nice and fun Q: If you had a super power, what would it be? A: Invisibility Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? A: An Olympic basketball player


Prairie Trail Elementary is No Place for Hate

Prairie Trail Elementary students turn in their No Place for Hate Promises before Monday’s assembly.

After a year of hard work and dedication, the Prairie Trail Elementary School(Prairie Trail) is officially a school that has “No Place for Hate.” As students entered the cafetorium for the day’s special assembly on Mon., Sept. 24, they each turned in a paper cutout of a person with the No Place for Hate Promise that they individually decorated and signed. The cutouts will be displayed throughout the building for students to see the entire school year. “No Place for Hate” is an innovative AntiDefamation League (ADL) initiative that supports schools’ commitment to combating hate and building respect for all its members. During the assembly, students were introduced to special guest Roberta Clark with the ADL who with student


help, unveiled the school’s 2011-12 No Place for Hate school banner. “Students, you have sent a message to your community that Prairie Trail Elementary is a place that promotes respect and responsibility,” Clark said. In order to obtain a No Place for Hate banner, Prairie Trail had to participate in a year-long initiative to stand up to bullying and have at least three activities to promote the cause. Some activities last year included: a Multicultural Fair, signing the No Place for Hate Promise, No Name Calling Week and an I am Unique poster drive. After unveiling the banner, Clark asked students to follow along in a No Place for Hate chant. “This is all student driven,” Prairie Trail Counselor Sharon Woolston said. “In order to have ownership

in their school, students need to be the ones who help initiate a climate change on campus.” Currently, students at Prairie Trail are in the decision-making process for what No Place for Hate activities they will have this school year. The school still plans to host their annual Multicultural Fair in the spring and have a Mix it Up day in October. For Mix it Up Day, students will be asked to sit with different students during lunch and/or play with different students during recess. “The work for making our school a No Place for Hate campus is never done,” Prairie Trail Principal Chellie Adams said. “We have to make good decisions daily, and if we see someone doing something hurtful to someone, it is your job to tell an adult.” By partnering with the Anti-

Defamation League to provide a No Place for Hate campus, students at Prairie Trail have the opportunity to be involved in a diverse community experience that engages students to be accountable for making good decisions. The Anti-Defamation No Place for Hate Promise: • I promise to do my best to treat everyone fairly. • I promise to do my best to be kind to everyone-even if they are not like me. • If I see someone being hurt or bullied, I will tell a teacher. • Everyone should be able to feel safe at school. • I want our school to be No Place for Hate.

Prairie Trail receives their 2011-12 No Place for Hate Banner during Monday’s assembly.

Pictured are L-R Basketball Hall of Famer Marques Haynes, Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle, Legends General Manager Del Harris, New Legends Head Coach Eddie Najera, Legends owner Donnie Nelson, Asst General Manager Nancy Lieberman, Pres of Basketball Operations Spud Webb and Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban.

Coaching some ‘D’

Najera rejoins Mavericks family as new coach of team’s Developmental League team By Douglas Farmer After twelve years of flying into the sidelines in pursuit of loose balls, Eduardo Nájera will now need to restrain himself from flying onto the court. Longknown for his tenacity in chasing down rebounds, stray passes and deflected shots with no concern for his body, Nájera will teach those same traits to the next generation of NBA players as head coach of the Texas Legends and the first Mexican-born head coach under the NBA umbrella. “I’m so passionate about the sport of basketball, my work ethic, my values that I used on the basketball court,” Nájera said. “I’m going to apply them as a coach.” Though the Legends, the Dallas Mavericks D-League affiliate, will not have a completed roster until after the

D-League draft in early November, Nájera has already spent much time focusing on what he will need to accomplish on the basketball court. Fortunately for him, he has many mentors to lean on, including Hall of Famer Don Nelson and future Hall of Famers Larry Brown and George Karl. “I’ve had many, many phone calls from different coaches talking about basketball,” he said a few weeks into his new gig and, for that matter, new career. “Everybody is trying to pull me in different directions. Of course, I’m trying to find myself as a coach, what kind of identity I’ll have.” Those coaches and their lessons will provide the foundation of Nájera’s coaching. His NBA career began with Nelson as his head coach, and Donnie Nelson and Del Harris serving as assistants, while with the Mavericks for

four years. More than a decade later, Nájera has both the younger Nelson and Harris at his side to dispense advice when called upon. Nelson owns the Legends and Harris serves as the organization’s general manager. “Obviously it’s going to be a learning experience,” Nájera said. “I’m going to have Del interact and help me with everything I might need. I’ll have Donnie do the same thing.” In addition to those supporting him from within the Legends, Nájera has already reached out to various coaches from his past, including Brown and Karl, to shorten his learning curve as he moves from acquiring floor burns to leaving dress shoe marks on the court. “Eddie being intelligent, I know he learned something from each of them,” Harris said. “I think that’s what we always are as coaches, composites of our

previous experiences … What we end up with is uniquely ours.” While Nájera’s travels from Dallas to the Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets and finally with the Charlotte Bobcats provided the experiences he will now rely on as a coach, those travels never truly took him from Dallas. Nájera bought a house in Plano when he was a rookie, and has considered it home ever since. “I never left,” Nájera said. “Even though I got traded, I still left my family behind, my kids. They’ve grown in the Dallas community. “I always had that dream of coming back and hopefully finishing out my career. If not on the court, then somewhere in the front office or in this case, in the D-League.”

10% O

Birthday & C FF orporate Parties Ment ion code YSTR VG for discoun t. Exp. 10/31/12 .


October Issue, Our 16th Year!

Table of Contents Dallas Sidekicks “We’re Back”

COVER STORY ‘Tatu’.......................................pp. 14-15 MONTHLY FEATURES

The Game Plan.................................p.3 Chalk Talk.........................................p.7 The Tip Off/Rewind...........................p.9 Sports Directory........................pp.10-11 Coach Spotlight...............................p.16 Athlete of the Month.........................p.18

3634 Long Praire Road Suite 108-169 Flower Mound, TX 75028

@YSTDentonCounty Department

Cover Story Photography

there are more important things than youth sports. Unfortunately, even though it is soccer and football season, beds still need to be made, dishes put away and laundry folded. Whoever is responsible for these things during the offseason should also be doing them during the season. It teaches children how to balance fun with responsibility. And let’s face it; my guess is most chores can be done during one or two commercial breaks. Here’s a hint: It’s much easier to motivate a child to get a chore done before practice or a game. Your children are inevitably going to have more than just sports commitments after school, in the evenings and on the weekends. Whether it’s a wedding they don’t care about, a sleepover at their friend’s house or Sunday school they have to attend -- priorities for those things should be set ahead of time. Is a football game going to take precedence over a friend’s birthday party? How about Grandma’s 75th birthday party? If your child is on two teams, which schedule takes precedence? Talk about it now, not the morning of the big game. Help take some of the stress off “school time” and solve these common youth sports issues now. Because like it or not, Fall is here! Amy Kenney - Editor


Publishing Editor/Advertising Graphics Dept

Another fall youth sports season is in full swing along with the cooler weather. Parents are juggling practices, meals, other activities and, don’t forget -- school. It’s hard enough setting alarms, packing lunches and getting homework done, but now you throw in the nightly practice — or practices — and all of a sudden the stress begins to rise. Here are a few things to think about when dealing with all the “busyness” that has hit home in your house. In my house, we have a simple rule, if the grades start suffering, you start missing practices, which ultimately will lead to missed game time. Any good coach will tell you school comes first, but it’s your job as a parent to stress this as well. Another rule we enforce: Homework and studying must be complete before any practice or game. It’s also important for the daughter to see dad at the cheerleading competitions, as it is for mom to attend her son’s football games. Don’t pick which game you’ll attend based on gender stereotypes. Remember, all of your kids want you in the bleachers. It’s also OK to miss a game or two. The lesson to your children is simple: Sometimes

Amy Kenney 469-831-7325 Crystal Adams 972-786-4189 Ruthi Elliott

Dominic Falcinelli Spirit Sports Photography

ORJ PUBLISHING, LLC President/CEO Tresha Glowacki 110 W. Sandy Lake Road #110 PMB 154 l Coppell, TX 75019 l 469-767-4542

Crew and Corban Chilton ready to play for their GLASA teams the Strikers and Sidekicks.

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Youth Sports Today is published monthly by ORJ Publishing, LLC & distributed free of charge through local merchants. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect that opinion of the publisher. Youth Sports Today is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. Advertisers and its agencies assume all liability for advertising content. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission in writing from the publisher. Photographs are welcomed and must be submitted by the 15th of each month prior to publication.

Eden Chilton and Norah Chandler at Excite! Gym, Cheer and Dance.

When it comes to working with kids, we need to make sure we’re accomplishing three things with their activities: they should learn, they should be challenged (competitive), and they should have fun. When we create an environment where they can achieve this trifecta of Fun, Learn, Compete, we tap a special place in their souls and activity transforms into passion.  Engagement soars, performance improves, energy spikes, and enthusiasm is at an all-time high. This is true whether it’s a baseball game, piano lesson, or chess club.  Our adult role as coach, adviser, teacher, or mentor is to help create a fertile environment for learning, competing and having fun.  We should encourage kids to explore each of these three areas. Learn. Kids should gain insights about activity, they should discover new things about themselves, and they should learn life lessons.  Let’s face it – kids are like sponges.  Our task, often, is to set the stage and get out of the way.  Their natural curiosity takes over and we need only to channel it in a productive way.  Other times, though, we need to help them connect the dots, for example, between effort and success, uncover a hidden strategy, or see the deeper meaning in the unfolding events. Compete. Kids must be taught to compete.  Life is full of competition – for scholarships, jobs, and even mates!  Youth activities are a perfect environment for kids to learn how to read a competitive situation and elevate their performance to succeed.  Healthy competition challenges kids to know themselves.  They become skilled at managing around their weaknesses and

How Did High Ankle Sprains Become So Popular?

leveraging their strengths to best the competition. This acquired skill-set is ideally learned as a youth when our sports and activities aren’t life or death.  This safety net encourages risk-taking and learning from mistakes. Another facet of competing is that kids must be at the right level.  Things shouldn’t be too easy or too hard.  The sweet spot is where the outcome is in doubt and neither success nor failure is guaranteed.  This is true for both individuals and teams. Fun. Above all, we should encourage kids to have fun with their activities.  If they have fun, they’ll want to continue and get better.  As a coach, one important measure of success I have for myself is if the kids want to play again next season.  If they didn’t have fun, the answer is often “No.”  Good things happen when we have fun, often without even knowing it.  We work hard, we focus on the needs of others, and we laugh. As we start to infuse the Fun, Learn Compete model into our efforts with kids, we quickly see that they feed off of each other.  Learning is fun.  The thrill of competition fosters new learning. Kids enjoy a challenge. The best teachers, advisers, and coaches help kids enjoy all three. Coach Dan Clemens is the author of A Perfect Season: A Coach’s Journey to Learning, Competing, and Having Fun in Youth Baseball. You can email him at Dan@

Sarang Desai, DO

Besides being professional athletes, what do Matt Forte, Prince Amukamara, Jasper Dendy, Tyler Kennedy, DeMarco Murray, Ben Roethlisberger, Adrian Peterson, Chris Bosh, Colt McCoy, Tom Brady and Dez Bryant have in common? They have all had a “high ankle sprain” in

their career. The term "high ankle sprain" is usually used to describe an injury to the syndesmotic ligaments of the ankle, which hold the lower ends of the tibia and fibula (lower leg bones) together. Injuries to these ligaments are usually more serious than to other areas of the ankle, causing significant pain and difficulty bearing weight. The severity of and prognosis for recovery for ankle sprains are often a source of confusion, primarily due to misunderstanding over what exactly the different "grades" of sprains actually mean. In brief: A Grade 1 sprain is a mild sprain that occurs when there is slight stretching and some damage to the fibers of the ligament. Individuals can usually place pressure on the foot and walk afterward. A Grade 2 sprain is a moderate sprain where a partial tearing of the ligament occurs. If the ankle joint is examined and moved in certain ways, abnormal looseness (laxity) of the ankle joint occurs. A Grade 3 sprain is a severe sprain in which a complete tear of the ligament occurs. If the examiner pulls or pushes on the ankle joint in certain movements, gross instability occurs. A Grade 1 sprain could require anywhere from 1-4 weeks of recovery time; a Grade 2 or 3 sprain, in which there is some degree of looseness of the ankle joint, could take longer and even require surgery if the tear is complete. OrthoTexas offers greater accessibility at one of our seven locations across North Texas. Our talented staff of orthopedic surgeons, spine surgeons and physiatrists, as well as physical and occupational therapists, offers the most advanced treatment options with office hours to fit your busy lifestyle. Our physicians pride themselves on bringing the highest quality of care to the communities where they live and work. Sarang Desai, DO practices at our Plano and Frisco clinics.

OrthoTexas Physicians & Surgeons 855-OrthoTX 5-OrthoTX (855-678-4689) � orthotexas co 7

Spirit Sports Photography

Pitcher for the FMYSA Rattlers throws a strike.

Courtesy Photo

#12 Peterson runs the ball for the FMYFA 11-12 Cowboys playing against the Falcons.

Attention Athletes and Exercise Enthusiasts! All of the schools in the Marcus and Flower Mound feeder patterns are joining together to raise money to buy iPads for West Zone Schools! The Flower Mound Showdown West Zone 5K Fun Run/Walk will be held at theForestwood Middle School Trails on Sunday, October 28 at 2 p.m. Parking will be available at Flower Mound High School or Marcus High School with shuttle buses provided. To register,use the link below or visit the LISD or Prairie Trail Web page and look for the Flower Mound Show Down 5K/Run Walk iPad with the red sneakers. From there you can follow the links to register or donate to this great cause.The entry fee of $25.00 per person or $75.00 for a family of four or more covers your participation fee and T-shirt while supplies last. Let’s do Prairie Trail proud and support 21st century learning tools for our schools! Register or donate today by clicking HERE. Twitter Hashtag: #iPad4WZ12

Thanksgiving Day - November 22, 2012 Check out our website for details and registration!


Are You Helping or Hindering? Commentary By: Ruthi Elliott

performance. It’s impossible for a child to concentrate on the game when their parent is yelling directions and chastising them for mistakes. Secondly, they know if they can hear you, so can their teammates. Children are going to make mistakes during the game, and you can bet the coach will address them in the next practice. That’s their job. Regardless of a player’s athletic ability, they work on their shortcomings with practice. For a child that’s only played a few seasons, is struggling, or not a natural athlete, focusing on their shortcomings robs them of celebrating what they’ve improved upon. As a parent, you can best support your kids by cheering them on and noticing what they do right. If they stop enjoying the game, eventually they will lose their enthusiasm and quit altogether. Choosing to leave a sport should be because they want to place their focus somewhere else. Not because they feel they can never play to a parent’s expectations.

Recently while photographing a game, I found myself sitting next to a dad who was yelling directions out to his son with every play. I’m not sure how obvious it was to anyone around me what a detriment this was to his son’s game, but my trained coaching eye saw it immediately. Kids inherently know to listen and respond to their father’s voices. The problem is his son not only listened, he broke his concentration to do so. While stopping to listen, he lost the ball which immediately caused his father to shake his head in disappointment. I could physically watch the boy’s anxiety level get higher with each outburst from his father. When the game was over, the son came off the court and immediately began to cry as he approached his father. He instinctively knew he was going to be reminded of each thing he did wrong during the game. While the father’s intentions were to help his son, the unfortunate reality is he contributed to his son’s lackluster

Last month we discussed the decision to play select vs. recreational. Here’s what our readers had to say! Chris R. of Corinth – “You definitely have to weigh your options with all these select teams. Make sure the team is a good fit for your daughter/ son....not for you. Kelly of Lewisville – “I don’t think select ball/travel ball should even exist until middle school age.” Jennifer L. of Argyle – “There is a lot of money and time spent in these select leagues. Make sure you are not forcing your child to play select. It needs to be a mutual decision.

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Courtesy Photo

Ellie prepares to start her tennis lesson with the Frank Ford Tennis group.

FMUMC delivers cookies to Flower Mound Firefighters to show appreciation during their church-wide mission day.


Baseball Denton Boys Baseball

Basketball Coco Sports Youth Basketball

Flower Mound Youth Sports Association 972-464-6580 972-955-7328

Cross Timbers YMCA

Highland Village Baseball & Softball Association 972-539-9622

Denton Youth Basketball 940-320-9392

i9 Sports

i9 Sports

(Denton County, Coppell, Southlake) 817-400-4525

Lewisville Baseball Association 972-420-7841

Basketball Attack Basketball Club 214-223-7865

(Denton County, Coppell, Southlake) 817-400-4525

Cheerleading Denton All-Star Youth Football

Cheerleading Driven Youth Football 972-746-5697

Excite! Gym, Cheer and Dance 972-874-8500

Flower Mound Youth Football Association

i9 Sports


Lewisville Football Association 972-874-8500 972.355-9988



Upward Sports


Click Here for Upward Website 972-530-8547, ext 216

Gymnastics WinKids 972.355-9988

Driven Youth Football 940-349-8276

Denton County Raiders Org.

WinKids 972-746-5697

Flower Mound Youth Football Association

(Denton County, Coppell, Southlake) 817-400-4525

Denton County Raiders Org.

Lewisville Football Association 972.355-9988

i9 Sports 940-349-8276

Click Here for Upward Website 972-530-8547, ext 216

Excite! Gym, Cheer and Dance

Denton All-Star Youth Football

(Denton County, Coppell, Southlake) 817-400-4525

Upward Sports



Hockey StarCenter

Director of Hockey Programs Keith Anderson 214-GO-SKATE or 972-831-2425

You run. You ride. Kids win. October 20

Registration is now open for our Red Balloon Run & Ride. Bring the entire family to Children’s Medical Center at Legacy in Plano for a day that’s as fun for you as it is helpful for kids in need. There’s something for everyone – a 1K fun run, 5K run, 100K bike ride, and kids’ fun zone. Start or join a team and get a head start RQUDLVLQJPRQH\WRKHOSSDWLHQWVDWRXUQRWIRUSURÀWKRVSLWDO Register at or call 214.456.8360.


Lacrosse Flower Mound Lacrosse Association

Hebron Hawks Lacrosse

Soccer Greater Lewisville Soccer Association

i9 Sports

Lewisville Baseball Association

(Denton County, Coppell, Southlake) 817-400-4525

Click Here for Upward Website 972-530-8547, ext 216

WinKids 972.355-9988

Soccer Cross Timbers YMCA 972-539-9622

Highland Village Baseball & Softball Association 972-221-4623

Upward Sports

Martial Arts


Softball Flower Mound Youth Sports Association 972-955-7328

Swimming AquaKids 972-724-1528

Track Lake Cities Track Club 214-244-3271

Volleyball Attack Volleyball Club 972-315-9500

Cross Timbers YMCA

Lakeside Aquatic Club 972-539-9622


Multi Sports Groups

Tennis Play For Sport

i9 Sports

(Denton County, Coppell, Southlake) 817-400-4525

WinKids 972.355-9988

Upward Sports

Click Here for Upward Website 972-530-8547, ext 216


your Super Star's sports photos here! 972-355-9988

Multi Sports Groups

Please submit to

Cross Timbers YMCA 972-539-9622 972-965-0458

CAMPING, SPORTS & PLAY Now Registering for adventure guides, recreational and competitive basketball! Visit to explore all of our programs.

Cross Timbers Family YMCA 2021 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound, TX 75028 972.539.9622 11

Avery Kenney and her friends enjoy a birthday party at WinKids.

Courtesy Photo


Courtesy Photo

Spirit Sports Photography

Catcher for the FMYSA Rattlers is in position and ready to make some plays.

Ethan Fisher and Carter Knabe learn good sportsmanship while playing for the FMYSA Blast Ball League.

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GLASA U7 soccer player Maddie Busch makes a pass to teammate, Bella Antoun.

Don’t Miss Your High School Football Games This Season! For Live and On-Demand Coverage, Check Out

The Winter Games of Texas, largest multi-sport event in North Texas, returns over the MLK Weekend, January 18-20, 2013. In keeping with tradition, nearly 4,000 amateur and Olympic hopeful athletes of all ages are preparing to compete and 15,000 spectators are expected to share in the excitement of the Games with a majority of events happening at venues in Frisco. Youth Sports Today readers are the first to know that karate and rock climbing have been added back to the fold of the Olympic-style competition in addition to gymnastics, figure skating, soccer, flag football, fencing, and swimming and more. Event Manager, Chaney Muench, says, “The possibility of adding lacrosse and volleyball are also under consideration.” How much would it cost to watch all of these organized action sports held over a few days? Prices will vary from free to a $5 entry fee. Great events like the Winter Games of Texas don’t happen by accident! The showcase of recreational, amateur, and Olympic-hopeful athletes would not be possible without all of the local organizing committees, sponsors and volunteers who donate their time and money. The games were created as a companion to the Summer Games of Texas by the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation, the Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the City of Frisco Parks and Recreation Department. To find out which sports are open for registration or how to become a volunteer or sponsor, visit the website or call 1-877-GoFrisco (463-7472) for more information. The Winter Games of Texas began in 2006 and will run through 2013 in Frisco. 1-877-GOFrisco (463-7472) 13


When Antonio Carlos Pecoria came to the U.S. in 1982 to play professional soccer, he intended to play just one season so he could earn enough money to return to Brazil to buy a house. Thirty years later, I sit across from one of the most accomplished indoor soccer players in American history. Not only does the player known as “Tatu” hold the record for the most power play goals, he is the second all-time in goal scoring with 857, the second with most seasons played, second in points, shots, and game-winning goals. On top of it all, Tatu is the only player to receive “Player of the Year” and “Coach of the Year” within the same season. Even with all of these achievements, there’s another side Tatu is passionate about…teaching. Putting all the passion and energy to work, and showing the players he can “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk”, he and co-owner Ronnie Davis plan on bringing the Dallas Sidekicks back, bigger and better than ever. YST: Whose idea was it to bring the Dallas Sidekicks back? Tatu: Ronnie and I started talking about it right away. We spent many days across the table from each other drinking coffee, talking about how we would do it. How we could get it right. It was always our plan, we just had to wait until things came together and it was the right time. YST: You have brought home Sagu, who has spent the last 8 seasons with the Baltimore Blast in the MISL. Are there any other players coming back for a reunion and comeback? Tatu: Yes, they are here and we still have to do contracts before they are final. We have a mix of veterans and young players and a wide mix of ages and nationalities. There’s a German Futsal player, a European player, South American player, and also several sons of ex-Sidekick players in the mix. Ronnie: At the season opener, every player who has ever played for the Sidekicks, we’re going to announce onto the field one last time. So that will be fun when one of the dads is announced and his son is on the team that comes out last. YST: So there will be a second generation of Dallas Sidekick players. It sounds like you’re a very close-knit family! Tatu: Well, I think that’s what made us stay in the metroplex for so long. It was an unbelievable group of guys from day one all the way to the end. The leaders really kept the


ball moving in the right direction. We changed some players, but the core of the group kept driving forward and everybody followed. YST: The Sidekicks had a HUGE following. What was the magic in your chemistry that other teams didn’t have? Tatu: That was because our players, we were out in the community. I did so many appearances and so did my teammates. 99% of those appearances were for free. That was because we wanted to make sure the sport progressed and the team progressed. We had a slogan one year that we wanted to “touch each fan” and that’s basically what we did. We went out and really reached out with one fan at a time. This is what I would like for our players to do. What we do in there (pointing to the field) makes a difference but not as much as what we do outside. YST: Your slogan for this season is “We’re back”. What other activities will the Dallas Sidekicks be involved in to let the fans know they’re playing again, and what will you be doing to win a new fan base as well as bring your old fan base back? Ronnie: We’re doing a lot of the same promotions that we did in the past. What we’re doing for Tatu that he won’t talk about, but I will, is three things to honor him this season. We’re doing a $9 walk up ticket price. All season you can walk up and watch the game for $9. His jersey has never been retired, so we’ll have a game where we retire his jersey

and it will go up in the rafters and no one will ever wear the number 9 again. Then, his thing was throwing his jersey into the stands every time he scored. We’re going to honor him by having real jerseys with the number 9, signed by him, thrown into the stands every time a Sidekick player scores. So we’re doing a lot to honor the past. YST: Besides a winning season, what do you most hope to accomplish your first season back? Tatu: To me, the product on the field, it has to be good. So that’s the number one thing. My favorite team in the world is Barcelona and I like the style they play. They are a possession team. They keep the ball when they get it, and when they lose it, they work hard, they press to get it back right away. So I’d like to implement that style in indoor soccer. That’s my dream. I like us to play fast paced, ball possessionoriented, and when we lose the ball we go after it right off the bat. I like for our players to be role models. That to me is the most important. I do not like tattoos, I don’t have tattoos, I don’t like earrings and those kinds of things. If there’s a tattoo it has to be covered. I want them to be good role models outside, too. I don’t want them out drinking beer in front of kids. I want the kids to see the players and think “this is a family, this is what they do”. When you come to a game, I want you to say, “I got much more than I paid for”. I want the end result to be: I was entertained, I would recommend it to somebody, and say, “I would

come back”. If we can help any parent by being good role models for their children, that to me is a home run. The perception of professional athletes is they are prima donnas. I don’t want that. I want them to see the players’ faces and see they are real. The only way people can see they are real is not on t.v. or behind a camera. It’s going out and seeing them in person. YST: You are the only player in history to be named “Player of the Year” and “Coach of the Year” in the same season. What do you enjoy more... playing or coaching? Tatu: Definitely playing, there’s no two ways about it. It seems like a coach is not part of the team. You know, you’re the boss and sometimes they don’t like you, or they’re always skeptical about you. You’re not one of the boys. So, definitely a player; and I’m still a player. I tell the guys that, and I tell them in front of him (Ronnie) all the time, I’m never going to be on his side. Any dispute with the players, I will always be on the side of the player. I’ll always be a player and that’s never going to change. I love to teach, I hate to coach. I prefer the teaching part, it’s great. It’s a God-given talent. Coaching, there’s a lot of political issues and things that involve being more than a teacher. YST: So has that effected your coaching style?: Tatu: Absolutely. The good thing about being a player, and then you coach, is you experience everything. I did not learn by watching or reading. You learn by the action. What you didn’t like, you throw away. There were things that drove me crazy as a player, like when you have to do the same thing over and over like warm ups. I believe the players are not going to like to do the same thing over and over, so I’m trying to be creative and incorporate on that. If every moment you know what you’re going to do, the fun goes away. What’s important is, if I tell you what I want you to do, I can show it to you, too. So, there’s a lot of good things about being a player and then being the coach, but not necessarily every good player is going to be a good coach. You have to be able to teach, and God gave me that ability. The moment I’m teaching, the world stops. All the problems go away and I’m completely focused and deeply involved in what I’m doing. Ronnie: It’s also great that off the field, he’s never going to ask you to do something he isn’t

also doing. In commitment he’s at the front of the line, and the players fall right in place because of his leadership. YST: You have coached on the high school level and also girl’s club soccer the last several years. What do you enjoy most about working with youth soccer vs professional athletes? Tatu: The select and high school is about

character development. More so high school than select. So I can break it into three levels. I coach a Christian high school team, so that is the most important thing. Winning is not important, although we were very successful. We won the championship seven out of the eight years I was there. The reason we were successful was because the kids wanted to honor God with their performance. So everything was about teaching. So with high school you use soccer as a tool for progression in life. Honesty, hard work, and all the above, so that is the goal with that level. The select is a mix. They want to get to college to play then earn the money. You are still trying to teach, but have to be a little more careful. The professional level, unfortunately, is about results. They already have their minds set, so it’s a little difficult for you to try to change like you can with high school and select. You will make a dent, but not as big as you would at a younger level. YST: How does it feel to know your jersey will be retired this season? Tatu: No big deal. When I played the game I never played for the money, I never played for any reason then because I loved it. This is my life. It’s the best time of my life because, A: I’m playing, I still play over 40’s and I still kick around the field every Monday and Wednesdays. I enjoy playing. I still think in my mind I’m twenty, but then the next day it feels bad (laughs), and I realize I’m not twenty anymore! I like to play and I like to win. I

don’t like to lose. I know that’s bad in America when you say this, but I don’t like to lose, I’m sorry. I refuse to lose. I accept the loss, but I refuse to lose. I work my tail off until the last second. So having my jersey retired, it’s nice, but it’s kind of embarrassing. I don’t like to be singled out anymore. I just want to be part of the group, just one of the boys. It is definitely an honor, but it’s the last thing on my mind. My number one concern is to make sure we do it right. To make sure we have a good product. YST: How did you get the nickname Tatu? Tatu: Tatu, if you translate from Portuguese to English, means armadillo. The armadillos in Brazil are much smaller than American armadillos. Brazilian armadillos are always under the ground and making holes. They’re smaller and they’re quicker, and always underground. My dad used to work in a train station and he was always under the train checking the brakes or something. So everyone started calling him Tatu. Then my brother, they started calling him Tatu. Then when I came along, they called me Tatu Zeno and I hated it. Then your friends, they see the more you hate it, the more they will call you that. I made the mistake of getting upset! When I turned pro I started using my name, Antonio Carlos, and it’s too long. I used my last name, Pecorari, and no one could pronounce it. Then in the end, I said, you know, Tatu may not be a bad idea! So I was Tatu, and in Brazil, there were a lot of jokes. They would say, “Hey, Tatu just got out of his hole!” YST: What is something most people do not know about the legendary Tatu? Tatu: Most people don’t know I have a big heart. They see me on the sideline and I’m a little vocal. When I played the game I was intense. So people get the wrong impression of me. Don’t get too excited about that, because I still have to coach, so they need to think I’m a MEAN GUY! That’s one thing people don’t know though. My heart is bigger than my mouth. Publisher’s Note: Cover story by Ruthi Elliott. Cover photos by Edward Ramirez. The Dallas Sidekicks will play their first season game on November 3rd at the Allen Event Center. For more info & tickets visit www.dallassidekicks. net.


Coach Spotlight When did you first begin coaching? I actually started as a teenager in my hometown, Tyler, TX. Several nearby neighborhoods had their own street football teams that played on Sunday afternoons. I wanted to compete with those teams, but there were no kids my age in my neighborhood. All of them were at least 5-8 years younger than me. So, I gathered all the kids that lived on my street and created my own team. Of course, I had the youngest team to compete. In the beginning, we were not good but we quickly turned it around and were recognized as the best street football team out of all the neighborhoods. We were so good we had others come from different parts of Tyler to watch us play or compete against us. So I consider that my first coaching experience. Do you have a favorite sport to coach? I enjoy coaching all sports. I have coached football, basketball, softball, baseball, and track/field What is your favorite moment or memory thus far? Coaching my kids’ first game and seeing the excitement on their faces was priceless. Do you have a favorite age to work with? I enjoy coaching all ages. What has been your biggest challenge? Patience, it takes time and effort to make sure all the players/parents are on the same page as the coach. As well, it’s challenging to implement my coaching philosophy to new players/parents; however, when we all are on the same page the outcome is a winning attitude and a winning team. Have you learned any valuable lessons that have shaped the way you coach? I have learned to cherish each moment I have with my players. Sadly, some players I will never see again. So each practice and game, I thank God I have the opportunity to have a positive impact on each player; even if it’s just for one season. I realize for 1-2 hours each practices and games the parents put their child in my care and trust me to lead them. What do you feel is the biggest reward you receive from coaching? To see young players lost, scared, and confused on the first day of practice. Then to see their growth after each practice, game, and season is so

Tony Miller, LFA Cowboys Coach and Current Program: Tony Miller, Head Coach of Lewisville Football Association (LFA) Cowboys Team Location: Lewisville, Texas Coaching Philosophy: “Perfect practice leads to perfect performance”

exciting. As well, to see their parents get involved in their child’s young athletic care is so enjoyable. What advice would you give a parent who is considering a volunteer coach position? I recommend that each parent conduct a self-assessment of why they want to coach. If it’s not to help young athletes grow to be better player/person then you are in it for the wrong reasons. In addition, you have to have that inner drive/strength to lead young players. As a society, we get so caught up in the wins and losses, we forget about the impact coaches have on the kids. What sports did you play as a child and/or adult? I have played the following sports: football, basketball, baseball, track/field, softball, tennis, bowling, golf, rugby, and table tennis Who was your sports role model as a child? Tony Dorsett, Magic Johnson, and Muhammed Ali. What change, if any, would you like to see in youth sports? I would like to see more fathers step up and be leaders. Do you have a coaching philosophy? Perfect practice leads to perfect performance. What is the biggest benefit you see in your athletes from being a part of a team? It’s wonderful to see the friendships developed and carried over outside football. It’s great to see parents making arrangement for players to have sleepovers, going out for dinner/movies, and/or play dates. What is something most people don’t know about you? I enjoy making floral arrangements/centerpieces and cooking. If you were granted one “coaching wish”, what would it be? I’m living out my wish. I’m coaching my son and other young players in my favorite sport, football.


Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Carter Knabe of the FMYSA Rangers grabs the ball after the team huddle.

GLASA U8 soccer player Ally Busch attempts to turn it around.


What makes a Youth Sports Today athlete special? They know how to keep things in perspective and have fun on the field! Let’s get to know this month’s Student Athlete of the Month!

Chase Mojica is a 6th grader at Lamar Middle School where he plays football. A multi-talented athlete, Chase has also played baseball and earned his second degree black belt in Taekwondo.

How old were you when you started playing sports? Six years old What sport did you start playing first? Baseball Which sports do you actively play? I play football for Lamar Middle School. Which sport is your favorite and why? Football is by far my favorite because it’s a contact sport. What do you like to do when you’re not playing sports? I like to play my xBox or PS3. What is your favorite subject in school? Math What is your favorite part of playing sports? I really enjoy tackling the opponent and making good plays. What has been your biggest challenge while playing sports? My biggest challenge has been overcoming the fear of tackling someone. What is your favorite moment during a game so far? My favorite moment so far in football is making a good tackle. Who is your favorite sports team? Texas Tech Who has been the biggest influence in your life? My parents are my biggest influence. They point me in the right direction. What accomplishment are you most proud of? The accomplishment I am most proud of is earning a second degree black belt in Taekwondo What’s one thing about you that most people don’t know? I take Taekwondo. Do you know what college you would like to attend and what you would like to major in? I would like to attend Texas Tech University and be in the military.

Polser Has a “Dance Revolution”

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Polser Elementary (Polser) is having a dance party! Coach Naomi Tate is utilizing the fitness video game “Dance Dance Revolution” (DDR) to engage students in a unique physical fitness activity. Recently, Tate’s first- through fifth-graders participated in DDR for one class. Approximately 400 students were exposed to the game, where players stand on a “dance platform” or stage and hit colored arrows laid out in a cross with their feet to musical and visual cues. Players are judged by how accurately they dance and can choose more music to play to if they earn a good score. “They love to dance and this was a new experience for them, so they got excited about the opportunity,” Tate said.

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Kim Sadler 469.441.0149 18

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Courtesy Photo

Reid Chandler and Crew Chilton play for NFL Neighboorhood Sports K - 2nd grade division.

The Lewisville Football Association 5.6 Titans Cowboys Flag team give it all they’ve got during a great game.

Come see us for a Tour and Fun Day! October 28, 2012

Visit our website at for Information on our Camps and Clinics, from Fundamentals to Working with the Pros for Baseball and Softball.

Quality Indoor/Outdoor Softball & Baseball Training Environment for both the Serious and Recreation-Minded Promote Softball & Baseball Fundamentals and Premier Training, both Mentally and Physically for Players of all Ages

825 E Business SH121, Lewisville, TX 75057 - (214) 499-6240 19

Youth Sports Today of Denton County - October 2012  

Welcome! You are viewing the latest issue from Youth Sports Today of Denton County. Enjoy!

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