Local youth football teams hold ribbon cuttings
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce held ribbon cuttings for local youth football teams this week, the Tri-County Outlawz Football and Cheer and the Rebels-Hill Country Youth Football teams.
The ribbon cutting for the Tri-County Outlawz was held Tuesday evening, while the ribbon cutting for the Rebels was held Wednesday evening.
The Rebels- Hill Country Youth Football team started in 2019 and is considered a 501c3. The team is not part of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) but started after the Parks and Recreation Department football teams split with the introduction of AAU in the area.
Head coach and president Jeremy Sanders said the Rebels team was started as a way to still give the kids the opportunity to play recreationally without AAU.
The Rebels meet at Ogletree Gap Preserve. They began practice on August 3 and held their first game of the season on September 12. The team has 41 total players. 18 in 3rd and 4th grade Junior Varsity division, 23 in 5th and 6th Varsity division.
Sanders said the ultimate plan is to develop a 1st and 2nd grade team as well as split the 5th and 6th grade team into two to have a total of four teams.
The team follows UIL-based rules which better prepares the players as they move on to the junior high-level teams.
“Now, the biggest thing really is just trying to grow for the future,” Sanders said. “We want to create a program that can kind of feed the junior highs, whether it’s S.C. Lee or Copperas Cove Junior High. That’s our ultimate goal is trying to create that feeder program that so many of us coaches talked about in the past when we were at Parks and Rec.”
The Rebels program runs from July to November typically. This year, the schedule was pushed back a bit due to COVID-19 but will include seven games and a playoff game for the top four teams. Sanders said the team will also go to the Redzone Games at ATT Stadium at the end of the season. The next season will start again next August. For more information on when practice will start, parents can follow the team’s Facebook page.
The Tri-County Outlawz Football and Cheer are part of the AAU. The team was founded by Jay and Ty Fernandez in January 2020.
Ty Fernandez said that starting the team was the couple’s dream after they had been involved with other teams over the last couple of years. Her husband, Jay, serves as the president, while Ty is the vice president.
The team is open to players age six through 12 for flag football and eight through 10 for tackle football. They also have a cheer program as well.
The Outlawz take in participants from Coryell, Bell or Lampasas Counties and also work with kids with disabilities. The cheer program has honorary cheerleaders as young as three-years-old who aren’t quite old enough to actually participate but still show their support at the games. They also have mentorship opportunities for girls who age out of the AAU but still want to help with the team.
“My husband and I, when we started this dream, it was with God, family and love first,” Ty said. “We’re in the business for the kids.”
The Outlawz are currently in mid-season, with games on Saturdays. The Tri-County Outlawz practice and play at the Holy Family Catholic Church field and at High Chapparal Park.
Altogether, the Outlawz have approximately 130 kids participating this year. Signups for next year’s team start up in January 2021.
For more information, parents can follow the team on Facebook.