Inside Pop Warner Magazine (Fall 2019)

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Spring 2018 Fall 2019

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4 Letter from Jon Butler 7 Pop Warner and Double Good

34 Thousands Share Posts for

8 Spirit Teams Jam Out with

38 Pop Warner & Capezio

10 Pop Warner All-American

40 Cheers to Pop Warner’s 2019

Kick-Off Fundraiser Power Music Cheer Scholars

59th Annual Banquet in Baltimore

18 Q&A with Eagles’

Annual Cheer and Dance Social Media Day

Volunteers of the Year

42 USA Football and Riddell

Team Up for Protection Tour

20 Q&A with Redskins’

22 Q&A with Plainfield Lady

52 Pop Warner’s Athletes Cheer

26 USA Football

56 OPRO Named Official

Cheerleader Jade Kenny Cardinals Coach Chawanda Tucker Six Pillars to Success

30 The 2-Point Stance Form Dick’s Pro Tips

32 LA Rams Sponsor Pop Warner Program

POP WARNER LITTLE SCHOLARS, INC. 586 Middletown Blvd., Suite C-100 Langhorne, PA 19047


47 Why I Coach 48 Capturing the Perfect Shot

Malcolm Jenkins

FALL 2019

Photographer Spotlight

Through it All

Mouthguard of Pop Warner

59 The New Way to Analyze

Executive Director: Jon Butler National Football Commissioner: Sam Mutz National Cheer & Dance Commissioner: Lisa Moroski National Events Manager: Beth Dietz National Director of Scholastics: Nick Koshofer National Recruitment & Grand Coordinator: Kevin Allen National Business Partner Coordinator: Phyllis Farruggio Editorial Content: CTP Design/Layout: Ignite2X Pop Warner Photos: Gerardo Mora

For Pop Warner info, visit:

Game Film

© 2019 Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.


JON BUTLER Your influence on that child lasts a lifetime. As we settle into another season I was reflecting on how fortunate we are to be doing what we do. And how lucky we are to be part of a team made up of thousands of adults who give their time and energy to make Pop Warner uniquely special for hundreds of thousands of young people in cities and towns throughout our country. One child at a time. One team at a time. You – the coaches and volunteers and parents who sacrifice your own time­— are Pop Warner. You are the people who rush home from work, sometimes sitting in gridlocked traffic and staring at the clock to figure out if you’ll get there in time. Often with 20 other things on your mind. You are trying to get dinner ready, help with homework, pick up the kids at school and still make it to the field. Breathless and sometimes more stressed than you wish. But you do it. Despite outside criticisms of youth sports and debates about what kids should and should not play, the thousands of volunteers who step up each year are doing something beyond coaching or

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organizing. You are creating memories. Memories most of these young people will cherish for a lifetime. And you are shaping lives. Sure, it sounds dramatic but it’s true. Yes, you’re working with aspiring running backs and flyers and tumblers and dancers. You’re coaching the finer points of a two-point stance or a back handspring. You are helping to hone athletic skills, teaching fundamentals and coaching advanced techniques. Trying to put them in a position to compete. And hopefully pick up some wins. Always while emphasizing safety. But the most important thing you are doing is shaping young people by teaching them the values of hard work, sacrifice and being part of a team. You are teaching them to respect themselves, each other, their sport, their coaches, their parents, the officials and their opponents. Your work is part of the culture that we have built for our young people. Mike Krzyzewski, the legendary Duke basketball coach and a product of West Point, has said, “Developing a culture means having a tradition that maintains standards you want to define your program. A common mistake among those who work in sport is spending a disproportional amount of time on “x’s and o’s” as compared to time spent learning about people.”

If you weren’t interested in learning about people you wouldn’t have spent hours upon hours organizing team events, planning practices, talking to that one kid who is struggling to get it but you know will. You love our sports. More importantly you love these kids. For that we’re grateful. So, have a great year and keep building a positive, nurturing and safe environment that lets young people earn success and grow as they have fun with their friends. It’s an experience they’ll never forget. Thank you,

Jon Butler

Executive Director Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.

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Pop Warner and Double Good Kick-Off First Nationwide Fundraiser Challenge Touchdown! Pop Warner and gourmet popcorn company Double Good have wrapped their first nationwide fundraising contest. Pop Warner athletes used Double Good’s technology to fundraise through popcorn sales, and the winning Association in each region will be receiving an additional $5,000, courtesy of Double Good. “Pop Warner is an iconic organization and we were thrilled to advance our partnership and take part in its first ever national fundraiser challenge,” said Tim Heitmann, Founder and CEO, Double Good. “We believe in the positive benefits sports can have on a child’s life and look forward to working together.” The competition allowed for local associations to fundraise for various expenses including equipment, travel, educational programs and more. In October 2018, as part of a relatively small test, a group of associations in New England generated more than $167,000 in fundraising sales through Double Good. This year, the athletes sold over $328,000. “Our participants in New England have had great success fundraising through Double Good and we were excited to open up the opportunity to our other regions,” said Jon Butler, Pop

Learn About New England Pop Warner's Success with Double Good

Warner Little Scholars’ executive director. “We’re completely astounded after seeing what they can do both on the field and in their Pop-Up shops!” To learn more and connect with other members in your Pop Warner community, check out the regional Facebook groups: New England, Wescon, Mid-South, Southwest, Southeast, MidAmerica, Eastern, and Pacific Northwest.

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Pop Warner’s cheer and dance participants have something new to cheer about. The organization recently named Power Music Cheer, the number one source for licensed cheer and dance music, as its official cheerleading and dance music partner through the 2021 season. Power Music Cheer offers the most affordable licensed cheer and dance mixes designed for youth cheerleaders, featuring chart topping hit songs. It partners with top cheer music producers to create dynamic remixes utilizing its catalog of over 10,000 songs. “Power Music Cheer offers a wide variety of mixes at extremely competitive price points, and we love that they’re completely customizable” said Lisa Moroski, national cheer and dance commissioner of Pop Warner Little Scholars. “Cheer and Dance is all about team spirit and celebrating individuality, so our coaches enjoy selecting their favorite age appropriate mix and customizing it with voice-overs, song swaps, and sound effects that make it unique to their team.” “We believe every coach deserves access to top quality, affordable and energizing music to inspire their teams’ performances,” said Steve Stettler, Executive VP, Director of Power Music Cheer. “Power Music Cheer is honored to partner with Pop Warner to bring this exciting new music offering to its members. We are thrilled to enhance the experience of this iconic company’s cheer coaches and teams!” What’s even better? Power Music Cheer recently launched a free mobile app that makes it easier than ever to organize, manage and play all your cheer music. The app is compatible with any MP3 or M4A audio file, allows users to speed up or slow down the BPM of any song or mix, and even works offline— no WiFi necessary. Select mixes are available for free in the app and you can click here to download a free sample mix!

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Pop Warner’s All-Ameri Baltimore for 59t

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ican Scholars Took Over th Annual Banquet

All-America Pop Warner honored thousands of its young studentathletes at the 59th Annual All-American Scholars Banquet in Baltimore back in the Spring. But getting there was no easy task. To qualify as an All-American Scholar, these bright, motivated student-athletes earned a 96% GPA or higher in school. Pretty impressive.

While we love celebrating our All-American Scholars, it’s also important to recognize those who have made their mark as adults. Exceptional athletes who serve as inspirations for our young people by demonstrating a commitment to athletics, education, community and our nation’s youth.

The 2019 Award Winners NFL Team of the Year

Miami Dolphins Inspiration to Youth Award

Brandon Carr, Baltimore Ravens CB Female Achievement Award

Toni Harris, first female skill-position player to receive full football scholarship Humanitarian Award

Ryan Kerrigan, Washington Redskins OLB Gold Football Award

Joe Ehrmann, All-American football player, coach and author INSIDE Pop Warner / 11

RaShauna Hamilton

The Miami Dolphins were presented with the 2019 NFL Team of the Year

Award, given annually to a franchise that has demonstrated commitment and support of their community and youth. RaShauna Hamilton, Director of Youth Programs and Camps, accepted the award on the Dolphins’ behalf. “When thinking about teams that have shown an unwavering commitment to youth football programs, the Dolphins came to mind immediately,” said Butler. “Not only does their Junior Dolphins Program use NFL resources to teach young athletes the fundamentals of football, but it also puts an emphasis on character development. This is in complete alignment with our mission here at Pop Warner, and we were thrilled to have them as our 2019 NFL Team of the Year.”

Brandon Carr

Brandon Carr accepted the Inspiration

to Youth Award, which is presented to an individual who has inspired the youth of today to become great achievers of tomorrow. After graduating from Grand Valley State, Carr played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys before joining the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. While playing for the Chiefs, Carr was dubbed the “Iron Horse” for being durable, reliable, and tough-minded and it’s a nickname that still holds true today. While playing for the Ravens, Carr has made 101 combined tackles, 23 pass deflections and 6 interceptions. In addition to his football achievements, Carr is also dedicated to leaving a legacy off the field. In 2012, he founded the Carr Cares Foundation, which aims to improve child literacy and encourage children to live healthy lifestyles. Carr has also opened three reading centers in his hometown of Flint, MI and volunteers both time and money in the Dallas and Baltimore communities. Those initiatives include reading and mentoring programs, providing food and toys to families for the holidays, hosting an annual football camp, donating books and even acting as principal for a day at a local Baltimore elementary school. 12 / INSIDE Pop Warner

Toni Harris

Toni Harris accepted the Female Achievement Award, which is given to a woman who has demonstrated remarkable strength of

character and leadership in attaining achievements that inspire others. Harris is the first woman in history to sign a letter of intent to attend college on a full football scholarship. She started at Central Methodist University in July. Not only has Harris shattered society’s preconceived notions, but she did it all while battling ovarian cancer at 18. Luckily, she went into remission later that year and has continued to work towards her dream of becoming the first female in the NFL. Harris was also the focus of a 2019 Toyota Super Bowl commercial, which demonstrated the ways in which people have underestimated her as a player. INSIDE Pop Warner / 13

Ryan Kerrigan was given the Humanitarian Award,

presented to individuals who set a positive example for today’s youth by accomplishing both outstanding athletic achievements and philanthropic initiatives. Shortly after graduating from Purdue University as an All-American, Kerrigan was drafted to the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2011 draft. Since then, he has been named one of the NFL’s Top 100 Players in 2014 and is a four-time Pro Bowler. Beyond his on-field accomplishments, Kerrigan has also been recognized for his outstanding philanthropic achievements. He was presented with the Media Good Guy Award in 2014 and named the Redskins Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2015. He also founded Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation in 2013, which aims to serve the Greater Washington D.C. area by providing opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need.

Ryan Kerrigan Joe Ehrmann, a former Pro Bowler, accepted the Gold Football Award, presented to an individual or group with a distinguished record of service to youth, community, and humanity. It was created to emulate the award given by the PALO Club for the most outstanding football player on the West Coast, which is named for “Pop” Warner. Following a successful 13-year NFL career, Ehrmann, along with his co-founder Jody Redman, now leads the NFL Foundation-funded InSideOut Initiative that implements education-based athletics that are cocurricular, character-based and led by transformational coaching. His concepts of transformational coaching are the subject of his book, InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives. Ehrmann has received a number of prestigious awards throughout his lifetime, including: Baltimore Colt’s Man of the Year, NFL’s Ed Block Courage Award, Most Influential Sports Educators in America for International Sport, Baltimore Business Journal’s Renaissance Person of the Decade, Syracuse University’s Arents Award, National Fatherhood Initiative’s Man of the Year and Frederick Douglass National Man of the Year. 14 / INSIDE Pop Warner

Watch Joe Ehrmann Accept the 2019 Pop Warner Gold Football Award

Joe Ehrmann

Fanbooks, The Best Way To Celebrate Your Season! We celebrate each season because Pop Warner creates memories that last for generations. We love Pop Warner for the leaders it develops on and off the field. Fanbooks brings these memories to life, and we make them as personal as your players and parents want them to be. Fanbooks Gives Back! As a National Partner with Pop Warner, Fanbooks gives back 20% of all purchase to your Association. Free to get started, visit to sign up.

Custom Books Are Possible! Fanbooks delivers uniquely personal and beautiful, full-color photo books. For as little at $29.99, your parents can get a 50-page hardcover book to commemorate their season.

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Turn your favorite photos into beautiful, full-color posters. All posters are printed on-demand and delivered right to the buyer’s door in 5-7 business days and 18” x 24” in both portrait or landscape orientation.

All Pop Warner books are easy to configure. Our cover creation wizard allows you to upload a team photo, team logo, cover color and book title.

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Choose favorite photos from Event Albums or upload photos from your camera or mobile phone. Fanbooks makes it easy to tell a personal story that matters to your parents and players.

All books and posters are delivered directly to the buyer. No more chasing down parents or players and no more money handling. Everything is done online and handled for you.

For more information, visit INSIDE Pop Warner / 15

“Since our inception in 1929, Pop Warner has been dedicated to creating well-rounded athletes. We strive to instill lifelong values of teamwork, dedication and superior work ethic that are represented on the field and in the classroom. A highlight for us each year is seeing thousands of student-athletes achieve Pop Warner All-American Scholar status, and we’re equally honored to award college scholarships that will help extend their academic and athletic education.” Jon Butler, Pop Warner Little Scholars’ executive director 16 / INSIDE Pop Warner


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Dating back to his time at Ohio State where he was honored with the Jesse Owens Award, Malcolm Jenkins has made it a priority to set a positive example for others. Through his play on the field, his commitment to the community through the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, and his work with Pop Warner, Malcolm has helped bring to life so much of what makes sports so special. We’re proud to call him a Pop Warner alumni. We recently asked Malcolm a few questions about his time playing football for Pop Warner and how that experience helped shape him into who he is today. Here’s what he had to say:

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How did you get involved with Pop Warner and how long did you play for? MALCOLM: My dad signed me up when I was 8 years old and I played for five years.

What is your favorite Pop Warner memory? MALCOLM: At the end of the games we’d shake hands and my favorite part of the day was the race to the concession stands! I’ll also never forget the first time I was in the newspaper for playing Pop Warner.

Tell us a little bit about your Pop Warner team. MALCOLM: I played for the Piscataway Braves in Piscataway, New Jersey. We wore black and gold just like the high school team—we always wanted to be like them (they were the Chiefs and we were the Braves). Our biggest rival was the Franklin Warriors.

Are you still in touch with any of your Pop Warner teammates? MALCOLM: Yes, I still have many friends that were teammates back in the day.

Is there anything you learned playing Pop Warner that you’ve carried with you through adulthood (and into your NFL career)? MALCOLM: I learned that the game of football, while it can be ultra competitive, should be played to have fun. And I’m still having fun some 23 years later! INSIDE Pop Warner / 19




WASHINGTON REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. JADE: I went to the University of Alabama where I majored in Sports Journalism with a minor in Constitutional Law. Today, I’m the Director of Digital Media for a tech and auto company in Washington, DC. I also do some freelance sports reporting. I was Miss Maryland in 2014 and went on to compete at Miss America where I won the swimsuit preliminary and the community service award. I worked really hard to earn that job, so I definitely treasure that time in my life. Outside of cheerleading, my hobbies include working out, traveling, fishing on the bay with family and hanging out with my mini golden-doodle, Reba.

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How long have you been a Redskins cheerleader? JADE: I’ve been a Redskins cheerleader for five amazing years. This is my first season as one of the captains, and I can honestly say that the skills I learned when I was a leader on my Pop Warner team have prepared me for this role.

Do you do any volunteer work? JADE: I love to volunteer! A platform that is very close to me is the Rainbows Organization, which helps children going through the struggle of grief learn how to cope positively. I have been a part of this organization since I was 13 years old. I’ve also gone on five military appreciation tours with the First Ladies of Football visiting our service men and women.

Tell us about your time with Pop Warner. JADE: I cheered for the Dorchester Vikings Pop Warner team for about five years and we were undefeated in competition for most of those years!

It was such a great experience and I loved sharing it with my parents — my mom was my coach for two years and my father was a Pop Warner football coach. I’ve stayed in touch with a number of my Pop Warner teammates and I’ve actually been in some of their weddings. We love to talk about the days we wore orange and black and cheered on our friends.

How did Pop Warner prepare you for the world of professional cheerleading? JADE: Pop Warner prepared me substantially for my professional cheer career. I learned so much about life. I learned how to be a good teammate, how to work hard alongside others and how to have self-discipline. It also taught me how to balance a busy schedule, which is a tool that has helped me immensely in my chaotic life. Those skills have made it possible to balance a full-time career, raise a puppy, give attention to my friends and family and take care of myself all while serving as captain for the Redskins Cheerleaders. I wouldn’t be the “go-getter” I am today without that experience! INSIDE Pop Warner / 21






Can you tell me a little bit about your time cheering for Pop Warner when you were younger? CHAWANDA: I began cheering for the Plainfield Lady Cardinals in 1990! My mom and aunt were both coaches and I instantly loved the sport. My two big sisters were also Pop Warner cheerleaders.

What made you want to be a coach? CHAWANDA: When I was in high school and cheering for my school, my big sister and mom were both with the Cardinals -- my sister was the head coach and my mom was the cheer director. The local competition was approaching and my mom asked if I could help the Junior Pee Wee squad with a routine. I was thrilled to help out, and a week later the team won first place at the competition! I was so excited and the girls and their parents were so appreciative. Their reaction warmed my heart and I was hooked ever since! 22 / INSIDE Pop Warner

How long have you been coaching? CHAWANDA: I started coaching in 1999 when I was just 14 years old as a student demonstrator, and this year marks my 20th year coaching!

What is the most rewarding part of coaching your team? CHAWANDA: The most rewarding part of coaching my team is seeing the progression of my cheerleaders from the beginning of the season to the end. I’m filled with such joy when they start to believe in themselves the way I believe in them! Once that all clicks for a cheerleader they become unstoppable -- and that’s when the trophies, banners and medals start rolling in!

What are you most looking forward to about this upcoming season? CHAWANDA: This season I’m actually coaching a younger level (the youngest team I have ever

coached) and I’m super excited about it. This age group is fun to work with because they’re so eager to learn, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them grow both as a team and individually. None of these girls have ever competed before but they are hungry and ready for it!

What do you think your team members like the most about cheering for Pop Warner? CHAWANDA: To be honest, I think they love competing and going to Disney! But they also love the friendships they make, as well as the sisterhood, teamwork, and sportsmanship that is gained in such a short amount of time. I always tell them how I met my best friend forever while cheering on the Junior Pop Warner team many, many years ago! We also appreciate all the love we receive from other programs on social media and when we see them at competitions. It really boost our girl’s confidence and we couldn’t be more grateful! INSIDE Pop Warner / 23

What makes the Lady Cardinals such a great cheerleading squad? CHAWANDA: We are a family! All of us coaches are either relatives, have grown up in the program together, or have coached one another. Also (and most importantly), we are all about the cheerleaders. We want the best for all of them and we aren’t solely focused on winning. While winning can make the season feel that much better, that’s not what we teach. We teach our girls that a “win” is not given, it’s earned. And if you want it, you must work for it! We felt like the underdog team for so many years and then one year things began to click for us. Today we have six 1st place, one 2nd place, one 4th place and one 5th place National titles and we’ve become one of the top programs in our area.

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MODEL SIX PILLARS TO SUCCESS When it comes to youth football, player safety is the number one priority for organizations, coaches and parents alike. But player safety doesn’t begin and end on the field. In fact, player safety initiatives should be thought about holistically and in terms of long-term athlete development. Cue USA Football’s Football Development Model (FDM). 26 / INSIDE Pop Warner

The FDM instills solid fundamentals, provides multiple entry points and game options, creates developmentally appropriate skill instruction and, most importantly, develops better players. It’s an approach Pop Warner fully supports. USA Football’s team of specialists and subject matter experts have incorporated scientifically based guidelines, which help build recommended stages of development for athletes as they progress through the sport. This allows coaches and parents to gauge progress, skill level and game readiness. “For us, nothing trumps safety and we’re confident USA Football’s FDM is going to make the experience safer and more enjoyable,” said Pop Warner executive director Jon Butler, a member of USA Football’s FDM Council. “With recent changes like eliminating kickoffs and three-point stances for our youngest divisions, limiting contact to 25 percent of all practice time, and requiring clearance from a medical professional certified in concussion management before a player with a suspected head injury can return to play, together we’re making our game better and safer. The FDM will allow kids to experience the sport at their own pace and it will help us with the development of both players and coaches, while growing the sport.” The foundation of the FDM is based on six pillars, all of which work together to create a blueprint for the football community to create better athletes.


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Offensive Line Tips

THE 2-POINT STANCE FORM Make sure you’re balanced, comfortable and ready to block defenders by setting yourself up in a proper two-point stance. When moving down the field, the success of a drive all starts with controlling defensive line pressure on the quarterback. In order to do that, offensive linemen will set up in different stances depending on the play call. The two most commonly used stances are the two-point stance and three-point stance. The two-point stance is used more in pass protection, but may also be used in run blocking as well. To get in a good two-point stance, start with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing toward the line of scrimmage. Keep your weight centered, knees bent, chest big, back flat and head up. Your hands should be above your knees so they’re ready for movement. On the right side of the offensive line, you may want to place your right foot staggered back a bit, so you can move outside that much quicker. And if the lineman is on the left side of the offensive line, you may want your left foot back a little bit. A good way to check your stance is to have a coach or teammate tap you to make sure you are balanced. For offensive linemen, it all starts with the stance. Being in a good two-point stance is crucial to creating a clean pocket for the quarterback, so your team can move the ball down the field successfully.

Two Point Stance Rule As you know, after consultation with our medical advisory committee, this season we enacted a new rule that restricts the Tiny Mite, Mitey Mite and Junior Pee Wee offensive and defensive lines to operate in a two-point stance, thereby eliminating the three-point stance for those three youngest divisions. Here’s a copy of what that new rule says. S13: Offense: All offensive backs must be lined up behind the offensive line in some type of formation. You will be allowed, however, to split one offensive back no more than five (5) yards outside the tight end. Offensive line must be in a 2 point stance. S14: Defense: No defensive player can be placed directly over the center. Player must be three (3) yards off the center. Defensive line must be one (1) yard back from the offensive line and in a 2 point stance. Defense must run 6,4,1 set. No more than six (6) defensive players can rush the ball. No blitzing.

Watch ProTips: The 2-Point Stance Form

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to the herd

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The Pop Warner football players in Watts will have a new look and feel this season. Watts is a community in LA that has faced some hardship over the years, and the Los Angeles Rams have recently announced a commitment to support the newly named Watts Rams Pop Warner football program. The LA Rams have supported the Watts program in a variety of ways since 2016, including cleat giveaways, practice visits from Rams players and tickets to Rams games. In partnership with the NFL, the Rams also surprised the Watts coaches, many of whom are volunteers from the LAPD, with tickets to Super Bowl LII. “We heard about the phenomenal work they were doing through multiple agencies and had a chance to not only meet them, but also take a ride with them through the different housing projects they patrol,” said Zach Kinkeade, Manager of Community Affairs and Player Involvement for the Los Angeles Rams.

As part of the new official partnership, the Rams will provide uniforms and equipment, as well as engagement opportunities with players, alumni, coaches, scouts and football operations staff. Plus, they’ll host a career day to expose the athletes to business opportunities within the sports industry as a way to expand their knowledge and ignite their passions beyond the playing field. “With this partnership, we will have a direct line to the Rams, not only for uniforms and equipment, but for additional resources when it comes to academics, food, homelessness and mental health, which are things we have encountered with our teams in the past,” said LAPD Officer James Holliman, one of the Watts Rams’ volunteer coaches. Through monthly engagements, the LA Rams will integrate their football and organizational philosophies and principles into the Watts program and develop joint programs that focus on character

development and community service. The Rams will also provide incentive-based rewards to reinforce the importance of education. Rewards will include tickets to Rams games, autographed items, merchandise, appearances and outings. “The partnership is still new, but we’d like to set up a mentorship, Big Brother-style system,” said Holliman. “We hope to see an improvement in the kids’ grades and behavior with our tutoring and school visits, and in the future, it would be great to see more programs similar to ours -- where local police departments and NFL teams work together to help service and support the next generation of student-athletes.”

For more information on the partnership, check out this article on! INSIDE Pop Warner / 33


SHARE POSTS FOR ANNUAL CHEER AND DANCE SOCIAL MEDIA DAY Pop Warner’s 2019 Cheer and Dance Social Media Day is in the books and it was one for the ages! Developed as a way to highlight the spirit program and share what Pop Warner’s participants love most about it, this year’s initiative saw thousands of posts using our official hashtag #PopWarnerCheerandDance.

Cheerleaders, dancers, coaches, volunteers and supporters alike shared posts across all social channels. The content included everything from team photos and favorite memories to encouraging stories and announcements. Take a look at some of our favorite photos from the day!


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POP WARNER & CAPEZIO DANCE INTO NEW PARTNERSHIP The work to become a great dancer is demanding. That’s why we’re equally demanding when it comes to finding partners who understand what it takes to provide our dancers exactly what they need to perform. Enter Capezio, recently named the exclusive Official Dancewear Provider of Pop Warner. Capezio is a multi-genre dancewear manufacturer with more than 130 years of quality craftsmanship, dedicated customer service and timeless design. In addition to being sported by performers across the globe — including Maddie Ziegler, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and others — Capezio shares Pop Warner’s mission to help young athletes with their self-confidence and provide dancers with the most fulfilling experience possible. Together, the two organizations hope to further enrich the youth dance community.

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“Pop Warner has been committed to the advancement and success of young dancers for over 30 years and we are proud to work with a brand that shares our mission,” said Lisa Moroski, national cheer and dance commissioner for Pop Warner Little Scholars. “Capezio is recognized by some of the world’s greatest performers as the foremost name in dance and we’re excited to bring that value to our young athletes.” “We are proud to stand beside an organization whose primary focus is on academics and providing scholarships for the next generation of dancers,” said Michael Anthony Terlizzi, CEO of Capezio. “Capezio’s goal is to always create an enriching experience for dancers of all shapes, sizes and levels, while providing

unsurpassable customer service and impeccable product quality at a fair value. Our primary focus is to translate this goal to all those we reach in the Pop Warner organization.”

Keeping the world dancing since 1887!


Kayla Mak Capezio Ambassador NBC World of Dance Contestant


What has made Pop Warner so special is the people who devote their time and energy to creating a special experience for our young people. We are an organization made up of thousands of volunteers throughout the country. It’s no exaggeration to say that Pop Warner simply could not exist without them. This is why, every year, the organization recognizes two volunteers from each region that go above and beyond the call of duty. Not only do they keep their programs organized and running smoothly, they also inspire their athletes and help shape them into well-rounded young people.

So, thank you to the Pop Warner 2019 Volunteers of the Year!

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Pacific Northwest


New England




Amy Leon Van Okinaka

Dustin Matthews Norma Zendejaz

Barbara DellAngelo Thomas Robertson

Bob Freer Yvette Robinson

Cheryl Lasson Tim Arvanitis

Tamara Garland Earl Newman

Kevin Hatcher Michelle Ferris

Pierre Davis Sue Simmons

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Team Up for Protection Tour ‘19

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There is no off-season when it comes to making the game safer. Two of Pop Warner’s valued partners – USA Football and Riddell – took to the road this summer to advance the concept of player safety.

USA Football’s 2019 Protection Tour kicked off its national schedule in June and ran through August, hitting Indianapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and East Rutherford, NJ.

The series of USA Football events, conducted in partnership with Riddell, delivered expertdriven football and player safety information to youth players, parents and coaches, including tackling fundamentals, concussion education and equipment fitting. The 2019 Protection Tour included six free, single-day summer events for approximately 2,000 youth players. Events took place at NFL stadiums and practice facilities across the country, providing instruction on several components of USA Football’s nationally endorsed Heads Up Football program. The Protection Tour applies non-contact, ageappropriate drills in alignment with the Football Development Model for lifelong health and wellness through America’s favorite sport. INSIDE Pop Warner / 43

“With support from Riddell, USA Football’s Protection Tour provides families with fun and dynamic football experiences while delivering better and smarter standards for young players,” USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck said. “Our Tour sites also feature exceptional football destinations, thanks to the community-minded generosity of NFL teams.”

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“Riddell’s widespread work at the grassroots level includes the USA Football Protection Tour, which is an important initiative for us each summer,” Riddell President and CEO Dan Arment said. “Protection Tour creates a solid foundation for young athletes to experience the game in an exciting format, and central to the event, is collaborating to share information on proper equipment fitting and advancements in head protection.”

Riddell is the official protective equipment partner of USA Football and the official protective equipment and reconditioning provider for Pop Warner. USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the United States.

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Why I Coach by Ken Newman The measurement of success and or failure of a coach is, for most, the tallies of wins and losses. Of course, as a competitor that measurement is quite logical; and let us all understand that when you step onto a competitive playing field the objective is to win. Let’s be clear there is absolutely nothing wrong with working and practicing in an effort to be successful. Isn’t that what we do throughout life? I digress. But the measurement of a successful coach extends beyond the wins and losses. Having been a coach for almost half my adult life; and doing so with some very successful teams and programs; I can assure you that if you broaden your gaze the success of coaching

can be found in your players, their families, the school or the program. I have been blessed in my coaching career to have been able to connect with all levels of players and I believe at the core is that each player that I coach is a member of my now extended family. As a coach, these players are my children and I want nothing but the best for each and everyone regardless of their on the field ability. I will do my absolutely best to give the lowest ranked player the same attention as the top both on and off the field. As a result, it is understood that together we have made a commitment to be the best that we can be or that the player is giving you all that they want to give no more.

The majority of players want to be coached, want to be better and they look to you for guidance and to be an example that inspires them in some way. The roads are rocky and some days you are on the same page and some not so much; however, if your players are giving their best and they are developing and improving then regardless of the tally on the scoreboard you and your player are successful. As my career carries on and I follow my players careers in college and life the success of our work together is the smile I receive when I see them; or the texts we share; or simply being remembered fondly for providing them a good experience while we were together. As an athlete and coach and competitor, I love to win. But above that I love my players. INSIDE Pop Warner / 47


Todd Sellitto, Manatee Wildcats


PERFECT SHOT When Todd Sellitto isn’t enforcing the law as a Deputy Sheriff for the Manatee County Sheriff ’s Office, he’s on the sidelines of local Pop Warner football games capturing the action on the field.

He’s always had a passion for photography and how it tells a story, so he married that with his love for sports and community and started photographing youth sports at many levels. And when his son was old enough to participate in the Manatee 48 / INSIDE Pop Warner

Wildcats Pop Warner football program, he volunteered as both a coach and team photographer. “My favorite part of shooting Pop Warner games is being able to capture the excitement and emotion that football brings to the players,” said Sellitto. “At this level, the game means more than just winning. It’s about learning sportsmanship, discipline, respect and compassion, and I try to capture all of

these characteristics when photographing youth sports. It’s also a huge bonus to watch these young athletes go from Pop Warner to high school, college and then hopefully into the NFL.” Today he also works as a freelance photographer for CBS Sports, MaxPreps and other local media outlets, and has shared a few photography tips to help other photographers capture the perfect shot!

Get on their level One of many practices that I like to use while shooting Pop Warner games is to get on the same level as the action. Take a knee and shoot level with the player to get that in-the-play action perceptive. It also gives a better background than shooting down on a player.

Shoot big picture I really like to focus on the whole experience, not just the game itself. Sometimes the coaches, parents and spectators provide compelling emotion that tells a great visual story.

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Take it off the field I also like to take the photography into a studio to shoot individual pictures that make the players feel bigger than life. I use a black background, a couple of strobes and a lot of attitude. These types of pictures are great keepsakes for the players and their relatives, and they also look great on social media.

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SUMMER, SPRING, WINTER OR FALL: POP WARNER’S ATHLETES CHEER THROUGH IT ALL Ubiquitous in schools and communities across the country, cheerleading and dance programs see millions of athletes in the United States alone. In the early years, cheerleaders were tasked with promoting their schools and seen as key marketing tools for the athletics programs they supported. But today, cheerleading is so much more than that. Cheerleaders are still a staple on the sidelines of football fields, but once the games are over they head to a number of competitions where the level of athleticism is unparalleled. 52 / INSIDE Pop Warner

Throughout the month of October, Pop Warner offers a whopping 67 League Cheer and Dance Championships across eight regions. At League Championships, teams qualify to advance to one of eight Region Championships held in November. From there, they head to the HP Field House in Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the National Cheer and Dance Championships in December. But the fun doesn’t stop there. In the winter months, teams can continue on the competition path or practice with a limited schedule. For those interested in competition, Pop Warner participates in:

J AMZ Nationals January 24-26, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV YCADA Globals February 7-9, 2020 in Atlantic City, NJ J AMZ National Challenge March 14-15, 2020 in Philadelphia, PA In order to give its teams and coaches as many opportunities as possible to participate at their designated skill level, Pop Warner has also added several Competition Divisions to its Championship events. In the last couple of years alone, Pop Warner has added:

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Core Cheer Division Provided by YCADA in partnership with Power Music Cheer, it’s a compulsory style routine that focuses on the technical and athletic components of cheer with the goal of creating a strong cheer skills foundation. Available for Mitey Mite, Junior Peewee and Peewee Divisions. It also gives the youngest division, Tiny Mite, a chance to exhibit the Core routine during League (and some Region) Events. Mitey Mite Divisions Allows Mitey Mite teams to participate in Pop Warner Championships (League, Region and National events) in limited skill divisions. Sideline Performance Cheer Now in its second season, teams perform crowd leading interactive cheers. These routines include stunts, tumbling and jumps, as well as the use of signs, poms, banners and crowd participation tools that are traditionally seen on the sidelines of football games. From practices and football games to Regional and National competitions, you can always find Pop Warner cheerleaders and dancers strutting their stuff!

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Did You Know? Amongst all cheer programs that compete and cheer on the sidelines of another sport, Pop Warner has the youngest start, allowing children as young as five to begin learning the fundamentals and competing at their skill level. INSIDE Pop Warner / 55

d r a u g h t u o M l a i c i f f O d e m a N O OPR r Little Scholars of Pop War ne

Nice smile. Now, let’s keep it that way. That’s the goal of a new partnership making OPRO, the world’s most technically advanced mouthguard company, Pop Warner’s official mouthguard provider through the 2021 football season. Founded 21 years ago by dentist Dr. Anthony Lovat, OPRO is a leading pioneer in oral protection. With cutting-edge technology and innovative design and production methods, it has been at the forefront of protecting the safety of athletes at all levels, across a range of different sports. In 2007, the company was even awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation in recognition of its groundbreaking work in the field of oral protection by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, England. “OPRO is one of the most innovative brands in sports and we’re excited to partner with them to support the safety needs of our players,” said Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner Little Scholars. 56 / INSIDE Pop Warner

In addition to Pop Warner, OPRO is also the official mouthguard partner of leading sports organizations, like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), USA Wrestling, USA Rugby, USA Taekwondo, New Zealand Rugby, Football Canada, Wrestling Canada Lutte and the GAA. “We are truly excited to embark on our partnership with Pop Warner Little Scholars as their official mouthguard provider,” added David Allen, Chief Executive Officer of OPRO. “Our range of the best fitting and most protective mouthguards will allow the hundreds of thousands of youth players across the USA, playing in the nation’s oldest and most revered organization, access to high quality, reliable and comfortable mouthguards. We look forward to the opportunities this partnership will unlock in the ever-changing landscape of sports retail and youth football.”



Unlimited Film. Unlimited Users. Exchange. View. Share. From celebration to evaluation, WatchGameFilm (WGF) offers coaches, parents and athletes an easy-to-use and affordable way to exchange, view and share game film. Don’t pay more for additional users and video storage! Since 2008, WGF has managed over 5 million video clips from all sports and all levels of play – including youth, middle school, high school, college, association, club and league – and helped users worldwide manage their film without blowing their budget. 58 / INSIDE Pop Warner

It’s not too late!

Sign up for WGF this season!

Unlimited film, photos, documents & users Telestration, highlights & playlists 480p SD|1080p HD video quality Quick video uploads Accessible on any device, ad-free and much more for only $50 per season! @watchgamefilm

The New Way To Analyze Game Film Film sessions just got a bit easier for Pop Warner teams.

WatchGameFilm, the simple and affordable way to watch, exchange and manage game film, has been named an official Pop Warner partner through the 2020 season. The platform will make viewing, analyzing, and sharing game film easier for teams. It allows coaches of virtually any sport to break down film in a way that is most useful for them, with features that include:

“The ability to review film is a great tool to help coach young athletes, so it was important for us to provide an affordable, reliable option,” said Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner Little Scholars. “WatchGameFilm offers so many great features that can be custom fit to any team’s needs, so we’re excited for our coaching staffs – across programs – to start utilizing it.”

“We are delighted to partner with Pop Warner Little Scholars. Helping teams work together to achieve their athletic goals while emphasizing the importance of academics is a key component of our mission,” said Becky Sharpe, a partner in WatchGameFilm. “From celebration to evaluation, we are here to support Pop Warner’s young athletes.”

• Instant replay, slow motion, play loop and rewind • Video telestration and commenting that allow coaches to convey clear points to staff and athletes • Custom, in-depth playlists, analysis and reports • Storage for an assortment of documents and photos • Easy-to-use messaging options

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For the first time ever, there’s a place where you can live your very own Star Wars™ story. Come discover a whole new land where a galaxy far, far away unfolds all around you. Welcome to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Disney Channel and ESPN Wide World of Sports are bringing you a unique ZOMBIES 2 themed halftime show for the Pop Warner Super Bowl on December 14. Get ready to rock out to your favorite songs from the newest Disney Channel Original Movie and score the chance to appear on Disney Channel. There might even be some special Guest appearances. See you there!



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