Once again, the sharp jangling sound of smashing glass windows clattered throughout the factory — that would be the 100th full-sized window broken within the month. It was 1929 and the frustrated factory owner knew he had to do something about the restless youth outside.
He contacted his friend, Joe Tomlin, who was a college athlete. Tomlin came up with a plan that drew the hooligans away from lobbing rocks to throwing footballs.
Organized youth football was born.
Within five years, the program had grown and was named after Glen Scobie “Pop” Warner, a legendary football coach, who helped recruit youth to the sport.
Warner also embodied the principles of the growing organization, which requires scholastic performance as well as performance on the field. Later on, cheerleading and dance programs were added to round out the activities.
Pop Warner is the oldest national youth football and cheerleading organization in the world, with more than 120 leagues and close to 425,000 participants, including many from Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, from Olympic Village to Incline Village.
Signups are now open for the 2013 season for North Tahoe Rams Youth Football and Cheer Program, which is trying to double in size again this year. There are four divisions based on age level for kids ages 7 to 13.
In keeping with the organization’s goals, applicants are required to maintain set academic standards, submitting student report cards when they sign up.
Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. is the largest youth football and cheer organization in the United States, and the only program that rewards its football and cheer participants for scholastic excellence.
Those who demonstrate top scholastic performance apply for regional and national scholastic recognition.
Local business owners much prefer the clink of their donations dropping into the Pop Warner coffers to the sound of broken windows. The organization is currently seeking companies, businesses and individuals to help sponsor the teams.
Players, cheerleaders and their families are required to participate in fundraisers for the teams, in addition to the registration fees.
The nonprofit Pop Warner organization will never turn a child away because of lack of funds, and through community support, it is able to open the teams to interested youth, regardless of their families’ incomes.
To learn more about North Tahoe Pop Warner, visit www.northtahoepopwarner.com. For sponsorship opportunities or to sign up for football or cheer, contact Julie George at 925-336-0388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2013 NLT Rams Season kicks off with Opening Day Festivities at Preston Field in Incline Village on Sunday, Aug. 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We have a great day planned for the Rams and the community,” said North Lake Tahoe Pop Warner Association President Scott Wilderman, adding that the event will include a barbecue, touch-football games, water sports and other activities, as well as fundraising efforts. “We hope the community will join us to support the Rams, learn about our growing program and have a great time this weekend.”
Those on hand can take aim at a coach in a dunk tank or sponsor a player for the Sports-A-Thon.
“If we raise $1,000 Sunday, I’m going to let them shave my head and paint it Rams navy and gold,” Wilderman said. “That ought to be worth the price of admission.”
Admission is free and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend.