A local team of parents, football alumni and community leaders pulled together to create a youth tackle football organization that is “all inclusive.” According to Michael Haiby, the president of the new Santa Clarita Cowboys Youth Tackle Football organization, kids and youth ages 6-14 can get on a team regardless of experience and at a nominal cost.
“By keeping our overhead down and with community support and corporate sponsorship we are able to offer the, by far, lowest registration fee (at $300) in Santa Clarita,” Haiby said. “The immediate goal of the organization is to fill strong teams by facilitating a robust recruitment program where athletes can play for as little as $20 out of pocket.”
A Disneyland raffle fundraiser enables families to raise the remainder of the $300 total registration fees, Haiby said, adding that most youth football programs in the area cost close to $450.
Registration is open now and available to all youth football players in the entire Santa Clarita Valley plus residents of outlying areas without restriction due to geographic boundaries.
“Santa Clarita Cowboys is a nonprofit organization which fosters the development of community youth by providing education for the advancement of athletic skills and sportsmanship,” Haiby said.
A part of the Valley Youth Conference, goals of the Santa Clarita Cowboys also include a commitment to schoolwork.
“We truly believe that academics and athletics go hand in hand with our student athletes,” Haiby said. “We want to develop student athletes who can look forward to continuing their endeavors in high school and go on to college.”
The leaders of the new organization include former football parents whose kids are grown and they want to coach youth football as a way to give back to the community.
“We have coaches who are currently coaching in our high school district and able to make some time as well to coach for Santa Clarita Cowboys,” Haiby said. “We have coaches (who) have experience playing D1 college football, such as Cade Apsay (University of Colorado quarterback) and … we’ve got San Diego State University and the Oregon Ducks represented. Then we’ve got some coaches who are parents of current Santa Clarita Cowboys players who bring to our program their years of football experience. We are also fortunate enough to have student leaders involved in our football program, such as the varsity high school football players who put on a demonstration for the entire Santa Clarita Cowboys organization in the weight room last month.”
Practice has begun already and will run through the summer months. The youth football game season is close to the same as the NFL season.
In an effort to make registration easy for aspiring players, there is weekly registration available — every Saturday in 2017 from 2:30-3 p.m. at Toppers Pizza, located at 18417 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country. Families can also register with any team manager at practice.
For more information about the Disneyland fundraiser, go to SantaClaritaCowboys.org and click on the “Documents” button. For more information about the program, visit www.SantaClaritaCowboys.org.
Cowboy Football Camp
Players are all invited to attend summer football camp through the program from June 12-14, 2017. The non-contact football fundamentals skills camp welcomes beginners through proficient players of all ages. The fee is $55 and the camp runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
The camp is conducted by Canyon High School Football Coach Rich Gutierrez and his staff. It will be held at the CHS football stadium.
Kids age 6-7 only register at the camp at 8:45 a.m. on the first day of the camp — not online. All older players can register through the Santa Clarita Summer Seasons Brochure, also available online at Santa-Clarita.com/seasons.