By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO April 5, 2005 Football is making a comeback in Monticello.
A group of parents is starting a football and cheerleading program for boys and girls in first through eighth grades in the Monticello Central School District.
Registration for the Monticello Area Football and Cheerleading Organization will begin this Sunday, April 10 at the Rock Hill Fire Department. The hours will be from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. A second registration session will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12 at the Rock Hill Firehouse.
The cost for the 2005 season is $95 for football players, which covers all equipment and travel expenses, and $85 for cheerleaders.
Youngsters in first and second grades can choose to play either flag or tackle football. Students in third through eighth grades will be playing tackle football in the Orange County Youth Football League.
Cherie Mosher of Wurtsboro said her son wanted to play football but could not since the Monticello Central School has not had a football program for the last 60 years. So she decided to organize a new football program for the Monticello area.
I grew up cheerleading and watching football, Mosher said. I cant believe we dont have [football] in Monticello.
Among the skills she said that football and cheerleading teach children are teamwork, hand-and-eye coordination, creativity, competitiveness and camaraderie.
Plus, children would be getting exercise, instead of watching television and playing video games, she said.
The travel is another benefit, Mosher said.
Mosher, who was a cheerleader when she was in high school, said that she used to travel to state and national tournaments. She enjoyed meeting different people and visiting other places. Mosher noted that cheerleading is taken much more seriously as a sport these days and that it boosts self-esteem.
She said that fundraising is critical to the leagues survival. The organizations board members have had a string of successes so far, by securing helmets and shoulder pads at greatly reduced costs from other teams. Among those teams helping out is Port Jervis, which plays in an area Pop Warner football league.
Mosher is very excited about the Monticello Area Football and Cheerleading Organization.
The Monticello teams will play all of their games at the opponents fields this autumn while they find a local field on which to play their home contests in 2006. Mosher is hoping that the Monticello Central School District will allow the teams to use its fields next season.
So far, interest among the Monticello students has been high. In addition, Mosher noted that between 25 and 35 parents have expressed an interest in coaching.
The program has a board, which will oversee the operation of the league and work on fundraising efforts. Mosher serves as President of the Monticello Area Football and Cheerleading Organization. The Vice President for football is Tom McCreery and the Vice President for cheerleading is Caroline Hayes. The secretary is Ronda Moore-Watson, while Cesar Dones is the treasurer and Michael Greco is the equipment manager.