This year, rival teams in the Pop-Warner Bux-Mont Youth Football and Cheerleading league will no longer face the Methacton Wolverines.
Instead they will face the Methacton Warriors.
As , Dana Leahan, Methacton Warrior treasurer, made the announcement in an e-mail to organization members at the end of July. She stated the name change would go into effect Aug. 1.
By Aug. 16, the Methacton Warriors held its first padded practice, in their new uniforms, which reflect the colors of the Methacton School District.
The padded practice was held in the early evening, at the Pop Warner Methacton Warriors new home field, located in Eagleville Park.
According to Mick Angelichio, head coach of the 80-pound Methacton Warriors team, the teams, whose players range from ages 5 – 14, practice four times a week during the summer. The practice times will drop in half during the school year, so that participants may focus on their classes.
“I feel cautiously optimistic,”, said. “We have a very good squad.
Angelichio referred to the Methacton Warrior’s first game, and home game, of the season, slated for this Saturday, Aug. 25. The matches will be played against longtime rival the Lower Perk Longhorns.
According to the Bux-Mont Football and Cheerleading website, the league consists of over 20 teams, in locations ranging in distances from as far away as Quakertown to Northampton. The league is one of the largest in the Eastern Region of the national Pop Warner organization.
This year, according to league officials, the Methacton Warriors has over 180 football and cheer participants.
Due to the ages and weights of football participants, Pop Warner football is divided into two types of plays: Flag and Tackle. The latter play starts with youth participants over 80-pounds and are typically over 8-years-old.
While Angelichio proudly stated that the his 80-pound team had only lost two games last season, he is also quick to explain that Pop Warner football is a “non-competitive” organization.
“Everyone gets to play,” Angelichio said.
According to Tom Leahan, Methacton Warriors’ board president, Pop Warner Football focuses on positive reinforcement for the youth players. He explained that participants that practice hard with teammates also get to play during games – not just sit on the sidelines.
He said, these are the years that shape the youthful participants’ understanding of how to play the game and how to live life.
“Not only does this teach kids about sportsmanship fundamentals, but also gives them discipline,” Leahan said. “When a child has experience through sport or school activities, it’s something they take for the rest of their life, and they will build on that.”
According to Leahan, this year marks the 27th year, Lower Providence has a Pop Warner program.
He said it’s important for the youth organization to remain involved with the community. Along with an annual scholarship program, The Methacton Warriors has also committee to supporting the Methacton School district cheer and football programs.
In fact, Leahan said, it’s the whole reason behind changing the name from Methacton Wolverines to Warriors, as the Pop Warner team would like to see themselves as a feeder program for the Methacton Warriors High School Football program.
“We need to get behind the school, so [the community] understands how important it is to have a top-notch program,” Leahan said.
Leahan added that Pop Warner football highly stresses a strong balance between athleticism and scholastics, both of which prepare student-athletes for high school-level play.
He said that the partnership with the school district may bring increased support to Methacton High School needs, such as creating lighting at its high school stadium, in which players may participate in the traditional Friday-Night High School Game.
Furthermore, the Methacton Warriors has worked with Lower Providence Township in improving upon township green spaces.
The Methacton Warriors Eagleville Park home field will have a new $10,000 scoreboard installed sometime this week. The field itself was created and funded by a partnership between the Methacton Warriors organization and the Township, during which the Warriors held various fundraising events.
According to Leahan, the organization will continue improvements to the Eagleville Park football field. He said the Warriors are now looking to raise funds to construct lighting for night games.
For more information, visit the Methacton Warriors Website.