By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE A total of 65 youngsters in the Tri-Valley Youth Football Program are ready to take to the gridiron.
T-V Youth Football, which is in its second year, has three teams. The Seniors team is for kids in the fifth and sixth grades. The Pee Wees team consists of third- and fourth-graders. The Mighty Mites team is for second-graders.
The teams began practicing on Aug. 17. They work out for 90 minutes Monday through Friday evenings.
All of the players attend the T-V Elementary School or the T-V Middle School.
Head Coach Greg Botsford noted that the number of kids playing this year compares favorably with last year. In 2008, 76 youngsters signed up to play for the teams. But a few of them dropped out and 66 to 70 players completed the whole season.
Greg and his wife, Kimberly, handle many of the organizational tasks for the program, such as ordering equipment and fundraising.
Greg is one of the coaches for the second-, third- and fourth-graders, who practice together but divide into the Mighty Mites and Pee Wees for games. Joining Botsford in leading those young players are Coaches Jon Allison, Eric Coddington, Joe Colon, Fernando Costa, Bryan Delaney, Keith Metnech and Dom Scanna.
Coaches for the Seniors team are Nial Edwards, Mike Poje and Jerry Stevens.
The T-V teams will have a total of six games this season. They will play youth teams from Fremont, Liberty and Rockland. The Fremont teams consist of players who attend school in the Sullivan West Central School District, the Rockland teams include players from the Livingston Manor and Roscoe Central School Districts and the Liberty teams include players from the Liberty Central School District.
The T-V teams will open the season on Saturday, Sept. 12 by hosting Fremont.
“We will play a night game this season, so that should be a cool experience for the kids,” Botsford said.
Botsford noted that Coaches Bill Hendrickson of Rockland and Jason Semo of Liberty assisted him with starting the T-V Youth Football program.
“They were really helpful,” Botsford said. “They helped me with paperwork and with people to contact to start our program.”
Botsford noted that the second season of T-V Youth Football is off to a great start.
“Things are very good,” he said. “The practices have been great. The difference between last year and this year is amazing. The kids are grasping the concepts of the drills and plays better than they were last year.
“The most important thing is that they are all having fun and learning about the game of football,” Botsford added.
The T-V Youth Football Program also has a cheerleading team. The team, which has 12 members, is guided by Coach Margo Bowers-Hendrickson.
Amber Buley, a member of the T-V varsity cheerleading team, is helping Bowers-Hendrickson teach the young cheerleaders.
Being involved with the football program is a family affair for Bowers-Hendrickson. Her son, Noah, is one of the football players and her daughter, Anna, is one of the cheerleaders.
“They are a great group of girls and they are working hard,” Bowers-Hendrickson said of the cheerleaders. “I have coached two high school cheerleading teams in the past and these girls have more spirit and enthusiasm than those high school girls did.”
The members of the cheerleading team are: Autumn Buley, Amanda DeLuca, Julie Eddings, Anna Hendrickson, Samantha Houghtaling, Katelin Jester, Anastazia Johnston, Jillian Lowe, Hope Moyson, Jillian Mungeer, Emily Starner and Elise Yamen.
The members of the football teams are: Jacob Allison, Kacie Allison, James Alongi, Ryan Banks, Chris Barr, Robert Barr, Michael Beiling, Chase Botsford, Bryan Boyes, Preston Braddock, Kayla Butler, Connor Campbell, Scott Cevallos, Andrew Coddington, Julius Colon, Colby Costa, Brandon Dailey, Connor Decker, Thomas Decker, Austin Delaney, Cody Demarmels, Michael Devito, William Devito, Kyle Donnelly, John Dumitru, Jack Eddings, Evan Edwards, Joseph Edwards, Griffin Epstein, Jeremy Fisher, Noah Fisher, Jimmy Foster, Daniel Garlinghouse, Kyle Giminiani, Ryan Giminiani, Aidan Gray, Guiseppi Grossi, Noah Hendrickson, Dylan Hummel, Brauke Hunt, Quincy Irby, Trevor Johnson, Jason Kagan, Logan McKeon, Aidan Metnech, Nicholas Mungeer, Thomas Mungeer, Everett Nolan, Ryan Parsons, Brenden Pavesi, Jared Phillips, Skyler Phillips, Jordan Prince, Shane Rennison, Jake Scanna, Alexander Schultz, Ethan Shaver, James Thilberg, Dev Vansleet, Cameron Wentworth, Zackary Wentworth, Jonathan Wilhelm, Jake Wilsen, Brandon Worden and Robert Worden.