Lockport Little Loop Football is gearing up for another exciting season of youth football action at Exchange Club Field, Outwater Park.
Local youths ages six to 13 can sign up later this month for one of four Lockport football or cheerleading squads. The Lockport Cavaliers will compete in the Pee Wee (6-7-year-old) division, the Lockport Pirates are in the Freshman (8-9) Division, the Lockport Raiders will compete in the Junior Varsity (10-11) division and the Lockport Buccaneers are in the Varsity (12-13) Division.
Signups are slated for June 11-12 for veteran players and cheerleaders and June 16-17 for new players and new cheerleaders. Sign-up times for all days are noon to 2 p.m. at Exchange Club Field, Outwater Park, the home of Lockport Little Loop Football.
The cost to register is $100 for football ($75 for pee wees) and $70 for cheerleading ($60 for pee wees). The cost for a second child is $20 less, for a third is $30 less and the fourth child (immediate family only) can sign up for free.
First-time participants must provide a birth certificate and all participants must provide proof of a doctor’s physical within the last year.
Richie Blackburn (940-6855) takes over as the new LLLF president. Steve Calhoun, who has guided LLLF so diligently for the past eight years, has stepped down. Junior Varsity Division coach Gil Eaton (434-1064) returns as commissioner, Lewie Cunningham (439-1175) is the new vice president and Melanie Malcom (930-6680) returns as head of cheerleading.
“Lockport Little Loop Football would like to thank Steve Calhoun for his leadership and guidance for the past eight seasons,” Eaton said.
“Under Steve, LLLF has seen a new concession stand built, parking lot paved, goal posts and flag poles installed and a new fence around the complex. Steve will be missed, but the future is as bright as ever with Richie taking over as president.”
Coach Eaton is taking over the J.V. division’s head coaching position, renaming the former Lockport “Bandits” the Lockport “Raiders,” which was a long-time former LLLF team name. It’s Gil’s 30th year of coaching, including 16 with his son, Bryan, who’s the new Lockport Buccaneers varsity coach. Two new coaches, Cunningham (Cavaliers) and Tim Mroczek (Pirates) are also on board.
Also on board in 2011 is Jon Faulkner, who’s coming over from the Pendleton Athletic Boosters Association (PABA) youth football league.
“I’m thrilled to have John on board. He has a vast wealth of knowledge coaching at the youth level,” Gil Eaton said.
“With (LLLF equipment manager) Dave McAnninch on the team as well, the Raiders will have more than 60 years combined coaching experience.”
LLLF practices will begin Aug. 1, but there are many events on tap throughout the summer, beginning with the third annual Coaches Clinic on July 23. Already committed to teach are coaches from Lockport, Lancaster and North Tonawanda high schools. Former Bills player Mark Kelso may also attend.
The second annual Lockport Firefighters versus Lockport Police Charity Flag Football Game is slated for Aug. 26 with the seventh annual Alumni Bowl and Chevetta’s Chicken Barbecue on Aug. 27.
Among the improvements slated for Exchange Club Field this summer are lawn work by the city, the installation of a new, roll-up security doors at the concession stand and pavement through the gate and in front of the bleachers.
“We’re striving to teach football and cheerleading in an atmosphere of fair play, honest and equal competition and true sportsmanship,” Eaton said.
Rounding out LLLF’s 2011 board of directors are treasurer Lori Gill, secretary Kris Eaton, Brenee Klotzbach, Anderson Darrell, Anthony Butera, Kevin Baker, Tom Waters, Katie Mertern, Renee Wood and Kevin Kramer.
Youth football and cheerleading registration dates for Lockport Little Loop Football have been announced for both returning and new players. All sign-ups are at Exchange Club Field, Outwater Park:
• Veteran players can sign up from noon to 2 p.m. on June 11 and 12
• New players can sign up from noon to 2 p.m. on June 16 and 17
• Cost is $100 for football ($75 for pee wees) and $70 for cheerleading ($60 for pee wees).
• Divisions are Pee Wee (Lockport Cavaliers, 6-7-year-olds), Freshman (Lockport Pirates, 8-9-year-olds), Junior Varsity (Lockport Raiders, 10-11-year-olds) and Varsity (Lockport Buccaneers, 12-13-year-olds).