Revere Junior Patriots Pop Warner has long been one of the area’s most popular and successful youth sports organizations.
That tradition of excellence is continuing under the leadership of president Patrick Keefe, who also serves as city councillor for Ward 4.
Keefe reports that approximately 200 boys and girls have begun practices for the 2018 season that begins on Sunday, Sept. 9. Revere will have four football teams and four cheerleading squads competing this season.
Last year, the Revere ‘B’ football team reached the New England Super Bowl while the ‘C’ team advanced to the semifinals. The cheerleading program, which has produced a number of national championships, had its ‘A’ team finish second in the nationals last December.
Keefe said the teams’ success should continue this season.
“It’s a realistic expectation that all of our teams will qualify for the playoffs this season,” said Keefe, while noting
the football teams will compete in the newly formed American Division of state Pop Warner football. “The America Division consists of greater Boston and the North Shore communities,” said Keefe. “We’ll play an eight-game schedule, four home [at Harry Della Russo Stadium] and four away.”
The Revere cheerleaders will participate in league and regional competitions with a goal of qualifying for the nationals in Florida.
Keefe noted that there are some coaching changes in the football division and on the board of directors Anthony Morales, a police officer in Chelsea, will be a coach of the ‘C’ team. Antoinette Simonelli will be the scholastic coordinator while John Stamatopoulos has joined the board of directors.
Keefe will return to the sidelines as an assistant coach of the ‘B’ team alongside head coach Don Boudreau and assistant coaches Doug Goodwin and Brian Cassidy.
Pop Warner has been a family affair for Patrick Keefe, who played his Pop Warner and high school football next door in Everett. His wife, Jennifer Keefe, serves as the cheerleading director (working closely with cheer coordinator Jen McCarthy). The Keefes’ daughter, Adriana Keefe, a graduate of the cheerleading program and a Revere High School cheerleader, will be a student coach while their son, Patrick Keefe III, will be a member of the ‘B’ football team.
Keefe said that parents of football players have talked to him about the safety of players, specifically on the topic of concussions that has been in the national spotlight.
“Parents have become much more aware of concussions, especially with the national attention that it’s gained over the last few years,” said Keefe. “It has impacted our enrollment, no doubt, but we feel we do a really good job of educating the players and their families on how to prepare and practice with a safe plan, so we teach the kids how to play the game properly without sustaining concussions and hurting themselves.”
Keefe said he is grateful to the community for their support of Revere Pop Warner.
“We always get great community support and we appreciate everyone who helps us out,” said Keefe. “The McCarthy Trifone Fund supports us greatly every year as well. We haven’t raised our fees in a number of years and we hope to keep them from going up. We’re also able to offer some scholarships to some of our participants.”