Edgewater Pop Warner Football & Cheer
(Edgewater Youth Sports Association, Inc.)
The Mission of the Edgewater Youth Sports Association, a 501(c)(3) charity, is to provide a safe and family-oriented place for the young men and women (ages 5 – 14) of the Edgewater School zone area of Orange County to learn the game of football and sport of cheer, and to teach them how to be better members of our community. Included in our three primary objectives is an at-risk youth crime prevention element. We seek improved outcomes for at-risk youth and the prevention of wrongdoing by focusing on these young athletes' character first, education next and building self-worth and community connection through the proper teaching of football and cheer.
The first objective is to build a safe, family-like organization that is tied-in with the varsity football and cheer programs at Edgewater High School. Second, is to instill the values that the Edgewater High School teachers and faculty strive to instill in every young man and woman on campus so our young athletes will be prepared to maximize their learning when they reach high school. Finally, our organization will provide an off-the-street environment to learn the game of football and the sport of cheer.
Increase Participation: A child from an economically distressed urban community is four times less likely to play sports after school than a child from a more affluent community a mile down the road. Edgewater Pop Warner increased its per football team participation from an average of 18 to 22 players. We added two additional cheer teams.
Scholastic Qualification & Recognition: Our Association has established a 2.0/70% as the minimum grade point average acceptable to participate. Ninety-eight percent of our returning players and ninety-four percent of our new players met this requirement. Each year, the most academically accomplished Pop Warner youngsters compete for Academic All-American status. This year we had one athlete achieve Regional Academic All-American status.
At-Risk Crime Prevention: We believe our after-school sports program plays a life-changing role for the at-risk youth in the economically distressed urban neighborhoods within our zone. Our sports-based youth program occupies, teaches and mentors the youth to reduce crime and increase school participation rates. During last year’s season we significantly reduced the number of our athletes that were arrested or detained by civil authorities. During the off-season, to date, we have also reduced the number of our athletes that have been arrested or detained.
Equipment Safety: In our continuing effort to provide the safest playing environment for our young athletes, and in light of developing concussion research we ensure proper equipment for our players. On our six football teams three players suffered concussions and only one player was required to rest multiple weeks.
EDGEWATER YOUTH SPORTS ASSOCIATION HAS THE FOLLOWING NEEDS:
Registration Fee Scholarships: Our Association supplies all the equipment for use by our football athletes. Each football player is issued a helmet, shoulder pads, mouthpiece, practice jersey, and game uniform. We are committed to ensuring that every child who wants to participate has the opportunity regardless of financial situation. We don’t want to turn a child away due to insufficient funds. However, over forty percent of our football athletes cannot afford to pay any or part of our $175 registration fee. We hold fundraisers during the off-season to raise money for the needed scholarships. We encourage our athletes to participate to help raise money for this program. But, this fundraising is not enough so we must look to donations to fill the deficiency. Our need is for $7,875 in Football Registration Fee Scholarships.
Helmet Safety: In our continuing efforts to provide the safest playing environment for our young athletes, and in light of developing concussion research Edgewater ensures proper equipment for our players. The most important piece of equipment is the helmet. According to the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA), youth helmets should be reconditioned at least every two years for 10 years, the life of the helmet. In the reconditioning process helmets are essentially deconstructed, and each individual piece is inspected for cracks, deterioration and other damage with each damaged part being replaced. Proper maintenance prolongs the effective life of the equipment, advances player protection and reduces our costs in the long run. Reconditioning costs $35 per helmet, which is a savings over the $80 - $125 per helmet purchase price. Through reconditioning every athlete is issued a safe, clean, sanitized, and properly recertified piece of equipment. We have submitted our 158 helmets for reconditioning. Our need is for $5,014.74 in helmet reconditioning cost.