Parents start SLV youth football league
by Peter Burke
Mar 28, 2013 | 4837 views | 3 3 comments | 331 331 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A new youth football and cheerleading league is on its way to the San Lorenzo Valley.

Following the closure of the Pop Warner youth football league team in the valley before the 2012 season, Ben Lomond mother Dana Roach decided to launch a new team.

“Me being used to Pop Warner, I was busing my son back and forth (over the hill), and it was really hard on me,” Roach said. “I wanted to figure out a way to bring football back to the community.”

Roach, who has a 10-year-old son, contacted Pop Warner, but the organization was not interested in relaunching a local team. Instead, she reached out to American Youth Football, a growing youth football organization. In a matter of months, Roach and several other organizers had formed the Santa Cruz Mountain Cougars, affiliated with AYF.

“So far, we have good support from the community,” Roach said. “Honestly, we have more players than expected.”

The new team will have three divisions based on age and weight: Tiny Mites for players age 7 and younger, Junior Peewee for ages 9 to 11 and Junior Midgets for 13- to 15-year-olds. Each division will also have a cheerleading team.

Roach suggested that if San Lorenzo Valley High does not field a freshman football team this season, many of the young players could benefit from playing for the Santa Cruz Mountain Cougars before beginning junior varsity football as sophomores in high school.

The teams will begin practicing July 22, and an eight-game season will begin in August. All practices and four home games will be played at SLV High School, 7105 Highway 9, in Felton. Other games will be played throughout the Central Coast against other AYF-affiliated teams.

In addition to players, Roach said the teams still need coaches. Candidates are encouraged to attend an AYF coaching clinic.

“Anyone interested, we’d definitely like to hear from,” she said.

Youth football registration, bake sale

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 6

Where: Felton Covered Bridge Park, Graham Hill and Mount Hermon roads, in Felton

Details: Santa Cruz Mountain Cougars, an affiliate of American Youth Football, will debut this summer with football and cheerleading teams for children age 15 and younger. Participants are split into three divisions, based primarily on age.

Cost: $150 per football player, including borrowed equipment and jerseys; $75 per cheerleader, in addition to the cost of a uniform (about $75)

Info: 331-7748,, or

To comment, email editor Peter Burke at, call 438-2500 or post a comment at
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Dana Roach
March 29, 2013
We definitely would LOVE to have other team divisions as well as the ones listed above. Going off already signed up players these are the divisions we should for sure be able to have. We encourage all ages from 5-15 to sign up. We encourage all parents who want to get involved to please contact us. We are happy to have your help! Thank you all for the support.

Correction on cheer price: $75 reg fee due now

Estimated $150 for cheer uniform and accessories that are your's to keep at the end of the season.
Bridgett Creek
March 29, 2013
Absolutely wonderful that Dana took the initiative and formed this organization. I hope it is successful!
No facemask
March 29, 2013
The reason for moving back to the JV team format at SLV is shrinking enrollment. Freshmen students will play on the JV team in order to have one full squad for underclassmen, rather than two teams with very small in numbers. I

If freshmen play youth league, there may not be enough players to field a JV team for them to play on when they are sophomores, which sort of defeats the point.

However, I love that this is occurring. A local youth league getting kids exposure to the sport before their high school years will hopefully get a higher percentage of students out for thevHS as freshmen... Which could eventually bring back the two team format for underclassmen.

Thanks to those making this happen.

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