Sports Stories
football5-9small.jpgIn an effort to get Sedona kids and the community involved in youth football, the Red Rock Youth Football program put on a two-day clinic this past weekend.
 By Brian Bergner Jr.
Larson Newspapers

In an effort to get Sedona kids and the community involved in youth football, the Red Rock Youth Football program put on a two-day clinic this past weekend.

Over 30 kids attended the two-day camp, with an age range of 8 to 13.

 Mal Cooper/Larson Newspapers

Many different aspects of the game of football were discussed and shown to the youngsters by the coaching staff of the RRYF program.

Youth football is something seen in communities all over the country.

It is used to shape young athletes within a team concept. It is also used to introduce the game along with teaching the kids to respect it.

This is what the RRYF program is trying to accomplish in Sedona.

“I came from a small town, and they had a rich football tradition. Sedona could have that feel,” RRYF President Scott Gilbert said.

The RRYF program would also help out the high school program.

In the past, and in the present, most freshman players coming in had never played full-contact football before.

“The idea was to get a feeder system to the high school and create some continuity and be more competitive,” Gilbert said.

Not only would they learn the basics of football and hopefully be more competitive, but they would learn life lessons as well.

“The No. 1 thing is struggling and overcoming — especially in a down situation. Being part of something bigger than you is the way to go. Kids need to learn to deal with conflict,” Gilbert said.

Lastly, these kids would become more involved and learn how to become more social.

“I believe in organized sports because it’s good to learn how to work with groups and overcome a common challenge,” Gilbert said.

The RRYF program began last year and competed in the minor division, ages 8 to 11, of the Central Arizona Youth Football Authority.

Participating teams were Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Bagdad, Chino Valley, Prescott, Big Bug Creek, Payson, Show Low, Wickenburg and San Carlos Indian Reservation.

The Scorpions, named after Sedona’s high school mascot, went 2-5-1 during their first full season.

And since their home games were at the Sedona Red Rock High football field, they could be part of a hopefully-soon-to-be rich tradition.

Along with Gilbert, the RRYF program is currently staffed and run by volunteers including Head Coach Tony Hauserman.

In fall 2007, the RRYF program will look to expand its teams, hopefully including a majors team along with the minors team.

“I would like to continue our expansion. I would like to see a mighty mite team and even a junior high team,” Gilbert said.

The majors would consist of a 9 to 13 age range with weight restrictions.

Sign-ups for the minor and major teams for the 2007 fall season will be Saturday, May 19, at the Posse Grounds baseball field from 9 a.m. to noon.

Fees for the season are $75 for sign-ups before Sunday, May 20, and $100 for sign-ups after May 20. Scholarships are available as needed.

For more information, please contact Hauserman at 204-0012 or Gilbert at 399-0459.


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