central-valley-lil-warriors-1

The Central Valley Lil Warriors Board has been having their monthly meetings at Center Stage for as long as I can remember. Since I’ve worked there for about the same amount of time, I have seen plenty of these meetings over the years.

I have always thought that there might be a good story about these people who give up their time to run this organization, so when they invited me to talk to them after their meeting last night, I jumped at the chance.

What I expected to find were great stories about the personal sacrifices these people make in their lives to be a part of the organization. But our conversation didn’t really go that route, because all the board members wanted to talk about were the kids that are involved in the organization.

central-valley-lil-warriors-2

Teaching Life Skills

While you and I might expect that the Central Valley Lil Warriors board would spend their time talking about football championships and cheerleading trophies, it seemed to me like that was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.

Instead, they wanted to talk about the impact that they are having on the kids they coach that range from the ages of five to 13.

They talked about having the opportunity to teach these kids discipline, responsibility, and other fundamental life skills. They talked about how they can lead by example in teaching kids to be positive role models and work together as a team.

They also talked about watching these kids grow as they move through the program.

central-valley-lil-warriors-3

Growing Up in the Organization

One of the things that the organization struggles with these days, is the amount of specialization in youth sports. By participating in various traveling teams, kids have more options to focus on one sport than ever before.

This can take a good bit of the fun out of participating.

The Warriors Board emphasizes that the kids in their program are kids first, then athletes. They believe that it is important to let their kids act like kids, which usually means a hot dog and a Huggie after a game!

But don’t let that fool you! There are still high expectations for these kids.

central-valley-lil-warriors-6

A True Sense of Family

Many of the kids involved in the Central Valley Lil Warriors organization participate from the time they are very young until they are into their early teenage years. This creates strong bonds between the kids, the coaches, and the families. Many of these bonds go on to last a lifetime.

Families that are involved with the program already know that the time commitment can be intense. There are practices every weeknight, games all day on Saturdays, and who doesn’t want to go to the high school game on Friday night?

But this amount of time commitment is what allows those lasting bonds to form and strengthen over the years that the kids participate in the program.

central-valley-lil-warriors-4

They’re Also Pretty Good at Football

With all of their focus on teaching, mentoring, and coaching these young kids, it is important to remember one other important thing: they win a lot!

Head Coach Todd Alexander’s Mighty Mite group of kids has not lost a football game since 2012. And don’t forget that Head Cheerleading Sponsor Mary Grimm’s girls have plenty of their own trophies from various competitions.

The board members also pointed out that all of the kids participating in the organization are benefiting from the most state-of-the-art safety equipment available, and all of the coaches have specific training in preventing injuries.

central-valley-lil-warriors-5

I have always believed that the key to staying out of trouble and developing as a person is to have a full schedule to give you plenty of structure. The Central Valley Lil Warriors are providing that type of structure to these kids starting at the age of five!

Based on that alone, it should be no surprise that their graduating midgets are some of the most polite and respectful kids you will ever meet.

I always say that I prefer to donate to organizations that are actually making an impact you can see in our community. The Central Valley Lil Warriors are exactly what I am talking about, but they aren’t asking for your donations…they just want your kids to come play football.

Both the football and cheerleading programs are open to any child that lives in the Central Valley School District. You can find much more information about the organization on their website.

Andrew is a professional freelance writer and lifelong resident of Beaver County. He created Your Beaver County to promote and showcase all of the positive aspects of our incredible local culture! You can find more of Andrew’s professional information at Brooklyn Content, or you can also follow him on his personal twitter account, @theAndrewSelby.