BRADENTON – One of the longest running youth football programs in the area, Bradenton's Manatee Wildcats Pop Warner program, will launch its 28th Season this fall. The Wildcats have a long history of teaching the fundamentals of the sport to young players, many of whom go on to play at the high school and even college level. The team is currently registering players ages 5-14 for the upcoming season.
Founded by Dr. Charles Tomeo in 1986, the Manatee Wildcats are proud members of the Pop Warner Little Scholars and the Foundation for Youth Development Conference. The program is dedicated to providing fun athletic learning opportunities for children, while emphasizing the importance of academic success.
Pop Warner programs have no tryouts or cutting of rosters and everyone participates under mandatory rules of play. There's an emphasis on learning and excelling off the field. On-field coaching is allowed for younger age levels and individual awards are given only for academic excellence, not for on-field activities.
Safety is a key component of the league's rules. Players are matched by age and weight levels and there are strict mandatory equipment requirements. Pop Warner provides clinics and risk management training for its coaches who also are subject to mandatory background checks, as are Board of Directors members and any other persons, volunteers or hired workers, who have repetitive access to, or contact with participants.
Concussion Prevention & Awareness is also a primary focus. Pop Warner has one of the more stringent return to play policies in the nation and has instituted a proactive policy regarding practice & concussion prevention. The result has been a surprisingly low rate of injuries. According to Pop Warner football, its programs have 12 percent fewer injuries per capita among 5-15 year olds than organized soccer in the same age range.
The final regular registration will be held July 6, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at G.T. Bray Park in West Bradenton, where the team also practices and hosts its home games. For more information on Manatee Wildcats football, or to download a registration form, visit the team's website at www.manateewildcats.com or email email@example.com.
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