POTTSTOWN PA – Maroon jerseys were everywhere one looked Tuesday evening (Aug. 19, 2014) on the fields behind Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School. None of them carried numbers, though, so many of the contrasting white helmets worn by players bore wide strips of masking tape on which their first names were written.
It created a casual look for fall’s most locally popular sport.
There was little else nonchalant, however, about the regularly scheduled practice session for young members (second through seventh grades) of the Pottsgrove Youth Football League. Their faces were all business. They ran through drills with as much precision as their smaller bodies could deliver. Coaches spoke, and no other mouths moved.
There were lighter moments, too. A “way to go!” for a surprisingly solid tackle. Words of encouragement for the kid whose performance during that last play wasn’t so hot. A pat on every head in the line that held.
All are signs the start of the regular season isn’t far off. All involved know there are many more game basics to learn before team play gets under way. So the dozens of youngsters threw, and tackled, and jumped, and squatted, and rushed for two hours, and then they and their parents committed to come back Wednesday and Thursday nights and do it again.
The youngsters are gaining more than just knowledge of their sport in the process. The organization’s work with young boys and girls in its football and cheer programs, respectively, helps them “develop the character, self-esteem and drive necessary to become successful people off the football field,” the league website claims.
The Pottsgrove School District is gaining too. The league acknowledges one of its goals “is to form a bond with the school’s programs to ensure we are share the same core philosophies, same dedication to safety, and progressive skill development.” When league players move up to teams at the middle and high school levels, it’s hoped the transition can be “as seamless as possible,” organizers say.
- See a gallery of 12 photos taken during practice at the fields of Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School. Click on any thumbnail photo below to see it on a separate page, then click the photo there to see it in full size.
Photos by Joe Zlomek for The Post Publications LLC