2015-09-24 / Front Page

Pop Warner teams will have home field advantage Sat.

The Lincoln County Pop Warner Association will host its first se­ries of home games on Saturday, September 26, at Buddy Bufford Field.

With close to 100 participants, this marks the first year Pop Warner foot­ball, cheerleading, and dance have been offered in Lincoln County.

The schedule of games on Satur­day is as follows:

9 a.m. – Lincoln County Tiny- Mite Team.

11 a.m. – Lincoln County Junior Pee Wee Team.

1 p.m. – Lincoln County Pee Wee Team.

Each team will play its counter­part in the South Augusta Hawks league.

Sponsored by the Lincoln County Recreation Department, the program is run by a board of directors that answers to the East Georgia Pop Warner organization.

According to Beth Antonakos, who serves as treasurer for the local board, “The Pop Warner program offers fun, athletic learning oppor­tunities for children, while empha­sizing the importance of academic success and strong values in a safe, structured environment.”

In fact, Pop Warner is the only or­ganization of this type that requires students to meet certain academic standards in order to take part in the program. At the end of the nine weeks, all participants are required to turn in their report cards to their coach, who will pass it along to the scholastics coordinator. Students must maintain a “C” average in order to play. There are no excep­tions.

In addition, all volunteers must attend safety training and undergo background checks prior to contact with the participants. Football and cheerleading coaches also have to attend skill training to ensure that proper techniques are taught.

Moreover, there are mandatory play rules, so that each child gets playing time.

Commenting on other facets of the program, Antonakos said, “One exciting aspect of the league is that we are the ‘Lincoln County Red Devils’ and have the opportunity to play home games in our own Larry Campbell Stadium. Away games are played at other high school stadiums in the area.”

She went on to say that for both the football teams and the cheer­leading squads, there is a play-off system and opportunities to travel to national competitions.

In closing, Antonakos stated, “We’re asking the community to come to Buddy Bufford Field on Saturday, not only to support the players but also to show our op­ponents that no one competes like Lincoln County!”

There is no admission charge, and concessions will be available. Pop Warner is the largest youth football, cheer, and dance program in the world, with 425,000 par­ticipants in 42 states and several countries.

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