Winters Jr Warrior football program seeking more youth participants

Volunteers and players can still sign up for Winters Jr Warrior football program.
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Photo by Ken Stewart. EJ Cruz, Jake Woods, Macguire Plitt and Jayden Blackburn helped lead the PeeWees team to victory.

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In 1996, Frank Ramos, started the Winters Jr Warriors football program and gave the youth of Winters an organized outlet to build friendships, learn about teamwork and be the next generation to cheer and play football for Winters High School.

The WJW football program offers both cheer and tackle football opportunities for the youth of the Winter’s community. The program is designed to provide the youth with the opportunity to grow and develop friendships and skills that will help them in their personal lives and athletic careers.

“The Jr. Warrior program is one of the only youth sport programs in town that allows the kids in the community to play together with their friends, rather than against them,” said Coach and WJW President, Rudy Baylor.

There are several divisions within the Jr. Warrior program. Each program is put together based on the age of the child participating. The Mitey Mite division is designed for players age 7 and under. The PeeWee division is designed for players age 9 and under. The Junior Midget division is designed for players age 11 and under and the Midget division is designed for players age 14 and under.

Each division is in desperate need of more players, especially the Midget division. With only 14 players signed up, this will make it extremely hard for players to rest and perform to the best of their abilities. The skills these players learn, especially at this level, are essential for players who will be transitioning into high school football.

Baylor and board members Rick Garcia, Veronica Garcia, Shelly Baylor, Edlin Martinez, Nathan Plitt and Ron Woods want to remind the parents within the community that the children and their safety comes first. The WJW program is so much more than the physical aspect of football and learning the skills of the game.

“Football is a sport that builds self confidence, mental toughness, discipline and a lot of respect. When kids learn to work as a team and rely on others to help them, it’s natural to create a bond and brotherhood that will last them a lifetime,” said Baylor.

The cheer division is also made up of several different divisions, which are also based on the age of the child participating. Mascot cheerleaders are the youngest group and have cheerleaders between the age of 4 and 5 years old. The Mitey Mite divisions is made up of cheerleaders who range from 5-8 years old. The PeeWee division is made up of cheerleaders who are 9-10 years old. The Junior Midget division is for cheerleaders who are 11-12 and the Midget division is for cheerleaders who are 12-13 years old.

Sterling Davis, WHS cheer coach, has expressed in the past interviews that she is very interested in taking the reputation and competitiveness of the cheerleading programs in Winters to the next level. The WJW program is a great place for future WHS cheerleaders to start.

Coaches, parents and other volunteers within the Winters community donate their time, energy, effort and resources into making this program safe, successful and rewarding for all the players, cheerleaders and families who chose to participate.

“The community has always helped the Jr. Warrior program in several ways, whether it is through donations for special events, attending fundraisers or cheering the football players and cheerleaders on during  their games,” said Baylor.

Parents, caregivers and members of the community are encouraged and welcome to participate in helping the program thrive. In addition to needing more players, the program is also in dire need of medical professionals to help out and be present at the games.

“The kids safety is our highest priority. We make sure we have an EMT, nurse and/or doctor at every game to ensure the safety of our players. We are willing to pay those who are certified as we know that it is a huge time commitment, ” said Baylor.

Baylor encourages those who are qualified to please reach out to him or any of the other board members if they are available to help out.

While taking home the Championship is well within reach, as the 2018 PeeWee team and the 2017 Mitey Mites can both attest too, the vision of the WJW football program is to build a community of athletes that will excel in all areas of life by leveraging the skills of teamwork, dedication, loyalty, perseverance, hard work and respect that is learned out on the football field.

There is still time for interested families to register their children for the WJW football program. Parents can go to www.myjrwarriors.com to sign up and experience a program.

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