New Hartford – Sure, we here at The Mid York Sports Report love our high school football. We love our college football too. That being said, if it weren’t for Pop Warner Football and Cheer, the other levels wouldn’t exist. So, football at the youth level, along with the people who make it happen, are going to get a lot of attention from us.
After more than a month of long practice sessions, twenty six Pop Warner Football Associations across Central New York hit the grids for real this weekend, as the Tri-Valley Pop Warner Football League began conference play. Five levels of football and cheer are offered within the TVL, including Flag, Mitey Mites, Junior Pee Wee, Pee Wee and Junior Midget. In football, four all divisions play tackle, while flag football is non contact.
Two of those twenty six associations, the New Hartford Spartans and Rome Colts, squared off with a trio of games today at Don Edick Field in New Hartford, as the Mitey Mites, Jr. Pee Wees and Pee Wees took to the turf. Flag football and cheer get underway on September 12th.
The Mitey Mites are 7, 8 and 9 year old players, with a weight range of 45-90 pounds. This division does not “keep score” yet, if you asked a player from either team today, he or she would be able to tell you exactly how many touchdowns both teams scored. Also unique to this division is the way the game is played, with each team running 10 offensive plays, before turning the ball over to the other team.
A huge crowd was on hand in the sweltering heat today when the Mitey Mites took the field at 11:00 a.m. and both football teams and spirit squads put on a great display of talent for all in attendance. Both organizations did a fine job keeping their kids hydrated during the 60 minute contest. Following the game, in speaking to players from the Colts and the Spartans, to ask who they thought “won” the game, we were given the same answer, a unanimous, “we won”. Good answer kids, that’s the spirit!
The second game saw the Junior Pee Wees take center stage and make no bones about it, the score is kept in this division! Both clubs showed excellent conditioning and preparation, with neither team showing much fatigue, despite the heat and humidity. Junior pee wees are 8, 9 and 10 years old and can weigh between 60 and 105 pounds.
In the end, the New Hartford Spartans Junior Pee Wees rolled to a big season opening win, running for three touchdowns and passing for another en route to a 28-0 win over the visiting Colts. John Davis, Luke Strassberger, Alejandro Ocasio and Angelo Santomassino all found the end zone for the Spartans, who improved to 1-0 on the young season. Andrew Durr had the scoring pass for the home team.
The day started at 9:00 a.m. this morning for the cast of great volunteers of the New Hartford Pop Warner Association, and the end of the day finally came in sight at 3 p.m., when the Pee Wee teams from The Copper City and New Hartford hit the turf. The Pee Wees can be as young as 9 and as old as 13, with a weight range of 75 pounds to 135 pounds.
Again, it was the Spartans that defended their home turf, knocking off the Colts Pee Wees, again by the score of 28-0. The kids clad in red, white and blue got touchdowns from Anthony Campola, Caleb Neiss, Nick Butler and Tyler Cole. Also worth noting were the four extra point kicks by Nick Butler, which may have been good from 25 yards away!
Mid York Sports would like to thank New Hartford Pop Warner President Rick Marchitelli, V.P. Paul Vitagliano and all of the great coaches and volunteers that showed us such great hospitality all day today. It is very obvious to anyone in attendance that these folks are there for the kids that work so hard to play and cheer for this great sport. Mid York Sports Report say’s THANKS!