The Lower Providence Midget Football Association (LPWMA) held its annual Pep Rally on the evening of Sept. 13.
The event was took place at the Lower Providence Warriors’ Field, located inside Lower Providence Township’s Evansburg Point Park. During the Pep Rally where family, friends, football players and cheerleaders gathered to celebrate the association’s 35th-season.
“I love nights like tonight for the kids,” Brian Sykes, LPMFA president, said.
According to the LPFMA website, the Lower Providence Warriors football and cheerleading teams are a part of the Keystone State League, which is described as one of the oldest and most competitive youth football leagues in the five-county Philadelphia area.
“We’ll get kids from all over,” Sykes said.
According to the organization’s website, there are no geographic boundaries or limitations for participants, resulting in youth coming from Perkiomen Valley, Methacton, Spring-Ford, Phoenixville, Noristown, among other school districts and private and Catholic schools.
Sykes explains that it’s the LPFMA and Keystone State League’s emphasis on quality coaching and promoting the spirit of competitiveness that attracts youth participants.
“We feel that football teaches perseverance, work ethic, and how to overcome obstacles,” Sykes said. “I know that the best football taught and played in the area is right here at Warriors’ Field.”
Sykes, who is also a coach in the LPMFA, further explained that youth participate by age (5 – 15) and in five weight classes, starting with an instructional 55-pound weight class.
As fundamentals become second nature with age, Sykes states that coaches turn toward cultivating the best performance out of players through hard-work and dedication. He cites examples of hot August practices and several night games throughout the week, during the season.
“It’s a big-time commitment for the parents and the kids,” Sykes said. “We always talk about how your playing time is earned; not given,”
Sykes speaks of the LMPFA tradition of winning as a result from players’ commitment to the game. According to the website, the Lower Providence Warrior 90-pound Team finished undefeated last year, and went on to win the 2011 Keystone State League Championship. The organization’s 105-pound team was the runner-up last year, and teams from varying weight classes had earned championships nearly every year dating back to 2005.
“We have a lot of dedication,” Tyler Uba, 14, of Limerick, said.
Tyler, who is entering his freshman year at Spring-Ford High School, played with the LPMFA since he was 6-years-old. This year, however, Tyler is ineligible to play with the LMPFA, due to weight restrictions, however, he has decided to continue his dedication to the organization by becoming an assistant coach.
Although he is no longer playing for the LMPFA, he does credit his playing time with the organization to earning a spot on the ninth-grade freshman team.
“It’s prepared me for high school,” Tyler said.
According to the LMPFA website, the benefits of a strong sense of competition are not limited to the gridiron.
“At the Warriors, we believe that playing against the best competition in the area sets the proper expectations for hard work and dedication,” reads the website. “Playing against the best competition helps to develop the proper attitudes and ethics it takes to continue playing football in the years ahead.”
“We at the Warriors are family,” Sykes said. “We track their successes as they grow over the years.”
During the Pep Rally, assist coaches and coaches, accompanied this year’s LMPFA football teams in a procession before cheering family, friends and fans. The youth players had their names announced as they each bounded down the Warriors’ Field 50-yard line, visibly proud of the recognition.
Prior to the procession, LMPFA Lady Warriors, the organization’s youth cheerleaders, helped pump up the audience by performing various sequences.
During the procession, the cheerleaders created a lively corridor of black and gold shimmering pom-poms for the grand entrance of each football player, who also wore their black and gold Lower Providence Warriors uniforms.
Helping to cheer on the sidelines was Brian Flannery and his family. Flannery, of Lansdale, has a son on the 55-pound team.
Prior to the event, Flannery explained that he wanted his son to enter this instructional level of the organization, because he wanted his son to learn teamwork. He also credits his brother-in-law, a LPMFA coach, for touting the organization’s focus on the spirit of competition uniquely understood through the playing of football.
“I think it’s a team sports,” Flannery said. “He liked flag football and this was the next step.”
For more information, visit http://www.lpwarriors.com/