Youth Football Season Kicks Off With Hilltopper Youth Camp For Incoming Third Through Eight Grade Boys

Los Alamos Youth Football and Cheer board members, from left, Cindy Byerly, Lori Ellard and Rob Manzanares watch youth football players during Hilltopper Football Camp Tuesday evening at Sullivan Field. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

 

By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Youth Football and Cheerleading kicked off its 2018 season Monday and Tuesday with the Hilltopper Youth Camp for boys entering third through eight grade.

Los Alamos High School and Los Alamos Middle School football coaches worked with the young players as well as members of the LAHS team.

Lori Ellard is the new LAYFC president. A native of Los Alamos, she has been involved in youth football since 2008 when her oldest son started playing and continuing to be involved as he played youth, middle and high school football, graduating this year.

“This league is very near to my heart as I now have two younger sons playing as well as a daughter in cheerleading. I have watched my children and others in the community grow in skills and relationships that they develop out on that field. It’s a really wonderful thing to watch and I am proud of all the hard work they put into being great athletes and working hard to reach their goals,” Ellard said.

She said the league board is new and very driven to keep the league about the kids, having fun and working hard.

“We want to build teamwork and relationships that will grow each year and hopefully continue throughout the kids’ lives. We are very excited about the upcoming season and will continue to do our best to make this league something the kids can be proud to be a part of as we continue to build on community relations,” Ellard said.

She said one of board’s big goals this year is figuring out a way to keep costs down.

“We have done our best to lower registration costs this year to encourage more families to be able to participate in football and cheerleading. We can’t stress enough how much we appreciate the community’s continued support for our kids,” Ellard said.

Registration has already begun and continues through Aug. 1. Practices for both football and cheer are slated to begin July 23. Football is 5:30-7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at Urban Park and Tuesday and Thursday at Rover Park. Cheer practice times are yet to be determined but are usually two days a week, one at Urban Park and one at Rover Park. Games are played Saturdays in Santa Fe, however two home games are anticipated this season, which will allow the community to support the teams, Ellard said.

Coach Rob Manzanares said it is an honor to coach the amazing kids of Los Alamos.

“They have heart and spirit and smile for us every day. The best part about being a part of the Los Alamos Extreme is the family and friends that come together each day to make this such a great league for the kids of Los Alamos,” he said.

Coach Brad Brothers said LAYFC coaches work on developing the minds and bodies of young athletes to be physically and mentally stronger in life and in sports.

“We teach teamwork, winning, losing, hard work and confidence. This program builds character, charisma and self-discipline. With or without wins, you will find victory in the hard work you put in,” he said.

Ellard said coaches Brothers, Manzanares and Pat Brousseau are working with LAMS Coach Daren Jones and LAHS Coach Garett Williams to begin figuring out how best to help the league build on its Division 4 11-year-old sixth graders and 12-year-old seventh graders.

“Most 12 year olds going into seventh grade want to play on the LAMS team. While our LAMS has a seventh grade team, there are no other seventh grade teams in our district, therefore they do not get to play games as a team. Many kids go out for seventh grade football not realizing that they can stay in our youth league during their seventh grade year and see much more playing time to prepare for eight grade and continuing through high school,” she said.

She said the LAYFC Division 4 team has struggled to have enough players during the last few years without having these seventh graders play down in the youth league for one more year.

“We hope to continue working as a community of coaches to find a way for all our athletes to build on their strengths, skill and teamwork while keeping them involved in the football community,” Ellard said.

Cheer coaches Kayti Herring and Sarah El-Darazi said they are really looking forward to working with the girls this year because they put in a lot of hard work and are dedicated to learning difficult routines. The coaches said the cheerleaders have a great time and laugh a lot. They believe that to be able to perform in front of stadiums of fans and competition crowds really boosts the girls’ self-confidence, and added that they are always proud of the way the cheer teams represent the Los Alamos community by being respectful, showing great sportsmanship and carrying themselves with dignity at all events.

“Los Alamos Cheerleading also is working as hard as the teams they cheer for,” they said. “They participate in two competitions a year, although it will be three this year, and they do an outstanding job. Last year in the first competition, the intermediate team took first place, the advanced team took second place and the entire team won overall for spirit earning the spirit stick. During the second competition, the beginner team took fourth place, the intermediate team took second place and the advanced team took first place.”

Other board members this year are, Vice President Renee Lechuga, Secretary Pennie Gould, Equipment Manager/Coach Rob Manzanares, Treasurer Shane Ellard, Athletic Director/Coach Jason Wardlow Herrera and Fundraising Coordinator Cindy Byerly.

Registration and cost details may be found on the Los Alamos Youth Football and Cheerleading Facebook page or by emailing losalamosextreme@gmail.com

Scene from Tuesday evening at the Hilltopper Football Camp at Sullivan Field which kicks off the Los Alamos Youth Football season. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Scene from Tuesday evening at the Hilltopper Football Camp at Sullivan Field which kicks off the Los Alamos Youth Football season. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Scene from Tuesday evening at the Hilltopper Football Camp at Sullivan Field which kicks off the Los Alamos Youth Football season. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Scene from Tuesday evening at the Hilltopper Football Camp at Sullivan Field which kicks off the Los Alamos Youth Football season. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Scene from Tuesday evening at the Hilltopper Football Camp at Sullivan Field which kicks off the Los Alamos Youth Football season. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Scene from Tuesday evening at the Hilltopper Football Camp at Sullivan Field which kicks off the Los Alamos Youth Football season. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Scene from the Los Alamos Youth Football Camp Tuesday evening at Sullivan Field. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Scene from Tuesday evening at the Hilltopper Football Camp at Sullivan Field which kicks off the Los Alamos Youth Football season. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

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