There are no more weight restrictions for Pop Warner football players and Revere’s organization is seeing an increase in participation for the 2019 seasons.
In previous years, Pop Warner football players competed in divisions that were determined by age and weight (except for the Pilgrim High School Division). Pop Warner has eliminated weight limits for the respective divisions and assigned players to the various teams (U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14) by age.
The change has resulted in Revere Pop Warner having 110 boys on its football teams. There are 70 girls participating on cheerleading teams that have been perennial contenders for national championships.
“This is the first year that New England Pop Warner has gone to age-based format for football,” explained Patrick Keefe, president of Revere Pop Warner Junior Patriots. “The change makes it a little bit easier for us to recruit players. Having no weight limits has been a positive development overall. We have players participating who would not have been eligible in the past due to the weight limits.”
Keefe believes the new rules will also boost the Revere High football program.
“I think it’s absolutely going to translate in to better high school football,” said Keefe, who played high school football at Everett High School. “We’ve seen the number of players grow and we’ve seen the players stay interested going in to high school. And the relationship between Revere Pop Warner and the high school is as strong as it’s ever been.”
RPW Equipment Manager Don Boudreau also spoke about the new age-based format at Monday’s practice.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how things go,” said Boudreau. “This helps the high-school level (U-14) a lot because now you have the bigger kids that can get some work on the offensive and defensive lines. That’s going to be helpful moving forward.”
Boudreau, who played football at Tewksbury High School, said the football helmets are safer and the new tackling technique are also helping to limit injuries.
“It’s definitely safer teaching the players to not lead with helmets and to not use their helmets as a weapon,” said Boudreau. That is the biggest success that we’ve had. We take pride in the fact that we’ve kept the concussions down. I just think football is such a good sport for these kids in so many ways.”
The head football coaches for this season are Chelsea Police Officer Anthony Morales, Reggie Green, George Chafin, and John Stamatopoulos. Chafin is also the football director.
Revere teams will compete in Division 1 American League North with Everett, Malden, East Lynn, West Lynn, Somerville, Cambridge and East Boston. Revere is eligible to qualify for regional, state, New England, and national playoffs.
Revere opens its eight-game schedule on Sunday, Sept. 8, at Harry Della Russo Stadium.