It’s hard to think of youth football and cheerleading amidst a global pandemic, but hopefully Sundays this fall at Della Russo Stadium will ring again with the audibles and the cheers of Revere Pop Warner athletes and their proud families.
Brianna Roderick will be leading the way as the new president of the Revere Junior Patriots Pop Warner organization. Roderick, who was elected in March, succeeds Patrick Keefe, who stepped down after a very successful tenure that included an investment in stare-of-the-art equipment and uniforms and emphasis on safer play. Enrollment also increased in the program.
Roderick, 34, has been a board member for six years. Her son, Joseph, is beginning his seventh season in Pop Warner and is a lineman for the U-12 football team.
Roderick said it has been a challenge for the board trying to plan the season with COVID-19 affecting everything.
“We’re hoping to start our registration process this month and I think we’ll be moving online as opposed to in-person registrations,” said Broderick, a former soccer standout at Wilmington High School. “We usually start during the second week in May and hold registrations in May, June, and July and practices begin in August
In addition to serving as RJP vice president for the past two years, Broderick has been the scholastic coordinator and football commissioner in years past.
Broiderick said Revere Pop Warner encourages academic excellence in the organization. “We’ve had quite a few of our players and cheerleaders earn scholastic awards,” she said proudly.
Broderick is also the emergency medical technician (EMT) at Revere games.
And yes, Broderick has been one of the heroic frontline responders during the coronavirus crisis. She works as an EMT at Tufts Medical Center. In fact, Broderick had just completed a busy shift prior to the interview for this story.
“It is challenging, but I think we are seeing numbers drop,” said Broderick. “With social distancing and people wearing masks, it’s all helping, Hopefully we’re moving in the right direction.”
Praise from her Predecessor
Patrick Keefe, who credited past presidents Paul Belchner, Mark Tango, and Craig Elam, for being “terrific influences,” said that Brianna Roderick made a positive impact on the organization from the very beginning.
“Brianna joined the board a few years back and immediately was a go-to person for me and many others in the organization,” said Keefe. “Brianna simply gets things done. I’m confident with Brianna’s leadership and board members and parents supporting her, we will continue to see RJP thrive in Revere.
Roderick said she hopes to continue the strong tradition. Several current Revere High football and cheerleaders are graduates of the program. Revere Pop Warner has been one of the city’s most popular youth programs since the 1960s.
“I’d like to keep the momentum going,” said Broderick. “We have great cheer and football teams. I’d like to boost the parental involvement – that’s always a challenging aspect.”
The RJP cheerleading program will also have a new leader. April Delaney is succeeding Cheer Coordinator Jennifer Keefe, wife of outgoing president Patrick Keefe. The Keefes are continuing to assist the organization and have been helpful in the leadership transition process.