Rancho Peñasquitos Pop Warner Scores Again
Rancho Peñasquitos Pop Warner and Cheer has been a household name in the 92129 community for over 35 years. The organization is committed to providing each athlete, both football and cheer, with an enjoyable and engaging learning experience. We talk with President, Rick Hudson and Cheer Coordinator Jeri Rook about the league, what’s in store for the upcoming season, and the overwhelming support they are privileged with year after year which enables the programs to thrive in the community.
With Rancho Peñasquitos Pop Warner President RICK HUDSON
What is the makeup of the 2012 RPPW?
RPPW expects to field twelve football teams; three flag and nine tackle teams. Each season we have about 250 football players, ranging from 5-14 years of age, pre-school through 8th grade. Our season includes 10-13 games per team including playoffs and bowl games.
What is the traditional season for RPPW?
National Pop Warner allows Football practice to begin on August 1st and requires 10 hours of conditioning before players can wear all equipment and have contact. The next three weeks are five days a week before playing a preseason game on August 25th. After Labor Day practice is three days a week. The season runs through mid-November or early December depending on the team’s playoff success.
What is the mission of the RPPW organization as a whole?
RPPW shares in the Palomar Conference Mission: Being committed to provide each athlete, both football & cheer, with an enjoyable learning experience. We are dedicated to improve the skills of each participant through good coaching, practice and competition. We understand that the primary reason young athletes participate in sports is to have fun while competing with each other. We believe every athlete matters and our mission is to provide the opportunities and training necessary for all to learn and compete at his or her greatest ability. We also will strive for academic achievement for every participant, believing that academics and sports go hand-in-hand in shaping our young athletes. Finally, we believe that while competing to win is important, the greater value lies in competing with honor, practicing good sportsmanship and being gracious in victory and defeat.
What are the different levels/divisions of play?
RPPW fields at least one team at each level. Our Flag division consists of three teams and is an entry-level, non-competitive football team for 5-7 year olds. From there we have our tackle divisions. Our Jr. Mighty-Mite and Mighty-Mite teams are for 7-9 year olds; these three teams are non-competitive and do not have playoffs. Our Jr. Pee Wee and Pee Wee divisions will each have two teams for 9-12 year olds, and our Jr. Midget and Midget teams are for 11-15 year olds. These divisions do participate in playoffs, and league and national championships. Players are assigned to a team based on National Pop Warner weight and age standards.
Are there any changes this season that players need to be aware of?
The big news for the 2012 Season is RPPW has updated our colors. The intent of the change is to represent all of PQ in our colors as our football players and cheerleaders end up at several high schools throughout our community. We have officially changed from Yellow Gold to Vegas Gold. This transition will occur over the next few seasons, as it becomes time to replace uniforms in football and cheer.
What do the League registration fees cover?
RPPW is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers, from Coaches to Board Members. RPPW incurs expenses for maintaining football equipment such as helmets, pads, entire game uniforms, practice pants, practice jerseys, and belts, to name just a few things. Damaged or worn out equipment must be replaced every year, and helmets must be certified each year for the safety of the players. Other expenses include the field maintenance, storage facilities, portable lights, insurance, game officials, Palomar Conference fees, CPR training for coaches, coaching clinics, basic picture packets, and year-end trophies for football players and cheerleaders, just to name of few. Parents may be asked to participate in individual team fundraising which goes directly to your team fund.
How does a business or family sponsor a team?
We have just begun to seek sponsors for the 2012 season and have a range of sponsorship levels for businesses or individuals to choose from. Any business or family interested in sponsoring a team or the association should contact Sponsorship Coordinator Kris Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rick Hudson at email@example.com and visit www.rppw.com for more details.
Who are the current RPPW sponsors?
Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Wells Fargo Advisors
Why/how does RPPW run such an organized program?
RPPW is fortunate to have a dedicated team of parents and community members who provide countless volunteer hours to make us a success, both on the field and as an organization. Most of our Board members and coaching staffs have been with RPPW for several years; this provides both continuity and experience to the organization. Each of our 12 teams relies on additional parent volunteers from running team logistics to providing game day assistance. All of this is done with the goal of creating a fun and safe experience for our children.
Does RPPW hold any fundraisers?
Our main fundraiser is the RPPW Raffle; each player is responsible for selling 10 tickets in 2012. In previous years, the raffle was for a Carnival Cruise for Two. However this year, the entire RPPW family will be having a picnic on August 11th at Views West Park. Each team will have a designated area for socializing. Finishing with the raffle drawing, which will have multiple prizes including a Grand Prize of a two-day Vacation package for four at Disneyland and
a 2nd prize of an iPad2?
What is the biggest challenge the RPPW League faces this year?
Our biggest challenges are typically, volunteers and fundraising. As previously mentioned, RPPW requires a tremendous amount of volunteers to operate, so we are constantly looking for the next generation for future seasons. Fundraising is another challenge as we are attempting to maintain our registration costs while improving aspects of our program, specifically in player safety and coaching tools.
Are there any new developments community members should be aware of that will impact the season?
Most of our new developments were announced in early 2012, as we have moved to online registration and updated our colors. However, I encourage everyone to visit www.rppw.com regularly as we have other projects/updates to announce during the summer.
What is the most unique thing about RPPW compared to other programs?
Pop Warner is the only national youth football and cheerleading organization that requires its participants to maintain academic standards in order to participate. RPPW has represented the academic commitment well consistently having multiple Little Scholar recipients in the 5th through 8th grade levels, frequently best in Palomar Conference. However, RPPW also consistently provides our local high schools with athletes that are fundamentally prepared for success at the next level. Several of our kids have gone on to play football or cheer at the collegiate level. We focus our efforts on creating an environment where kids enjoy the experience today and have fun while being safe.
We would like to expand the RPPW program to include a Challenger Division for anyone with special needs. Currently, Palomar Conference fields one team using the 17 associations in North San Diego for flag football and cheer in the Challenger Division. For more information please contact Rick Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.palomarpopwarner.org
With RPPW Cheer Coordinator JERI ROOK
What is the history behind RPPW Cheer Program?
RPPW Cheer has supported our community for 30+ years. We continue to maintain long standing traditions with our “Spirit Wednesdays” and our legendary Double Decker Bus arrival at Pop Warner Local Competitions!!! Our Marauder squad has earned 7 consecutive JAMZ National Championships.
What is the makeup of the 2012 RPPW Cheer participants?
We have girls in our program that have trained in dance and gymnastics for many years to girls who have never participated in a team sport ranging in age from 5 – 13 years old.
What is the goal/vision/mission of the RPPW Cheer organization as a whole?
Our goal is to provide athletes with an opportunity to perform in an organized and safe environment. We emphasize fun for all and encourage the development of qualities important for life.
What are the different levels involved with the cheer teams?
We have teams at all levels…from Flag to Midget levels.
How does one become part of the RPPW Cheer organization? Are there any mandatory skill requirements?
All athletes (girls and boys…yes, we have had boys in our program too!!) are welcome. There are no mandatory skill requirements. We have certified coaches to teach the athletes all required skills. We also attend a summer cheer camp to learn new skills and dance.
Tell us about a typical season for RPPW Cheer and what to expect as a participant.
We kick off our season in August with conditioning and skill building. We support and cheer for our football teams throughout the season…but it’s not over!! RPPW Cheer continues the fun by participating in additional 4-6 competitions which extends our season.
What is the practice schedule commitment? Game schedule commitment?
Practices are held in the evenings 2-3 times per week depending on age level of team. We cheer weekly at the football games.
Does RPPW Cheer hold any fundraisers?
We do!! We have a special activity called “Spirit Wednesday” where we host a weekly fundraising dinner. Other fundraisers are held throughout the season to help cover costs for gym fees and travel.
What is the biggest challenge the RPPW Cheer Organization faces this year?
The economy has hit us hard. We need athletes!!
If you could have one wish for the organization as a whole this coming season, what would that be?
That we have an exciting, rewarding and safe year.
President: Rick Hudson
Vice President: Dawn Billingsley
Treasurer: Jackie Clark
Secretary: Kris Hilly
Football Coordinator: Mike Thornton
Cheer Coordinator: Jeri Rook
Football Player Agent: Lea Ann Trammer
Cheer Player Agent: Tara Pezzolla
Football Equipment Manager: Julie Leonard
Cheer Equipment Manager: Karen Stuckey
Football Coaches Rep: Ron Billingsley
Apparel Coordinator: April Warren
Badge/SOR/ Volunteer Coordinator: Kappi Farrow
Park and Rec / Field Coordinator: Jason Kaimer
Sponsorship / Fundraising Coordinator: Kris Hernandez
Little Scholars Rep: Kelly Xitco
Webmaster: Will Jones
Cheer Spirit Chair: Sylvia Avila
Team Pictures/Trophies: Becky Del Rio
Conditioning Program: Benji Landry
Player Evaluation / Combine: Darrin Santos