To the editor:
I am writing on behalf of the Burnham Bulldogs Youth Football and Cheer Organization to provide information regarding the principles and philosophy of our program.
Our organization believes that football is much more than a game and, with the proper approach, football and cheerleading are good ways to build character in future generations. Football is a team sport and, when properly taught, serves as a vehicle to build dignity and a sense of community with all involved.
Three years ago, we joined Nittany Youth and Cheer League, based in Centre County, to offer a different perspective to the youth in Mifflin County. Instead of placing the emphasis on winning, we are committed to teaching the fundamentals of the sport and stress self-discipline, teamwork, concentration, friendship, leadership and sportsmanship.
The coaches are committed to assuring the game is fun for all boys and girls. Everyone is involved and there is a 12-play per game rule, regardless of the players ability, which we strictly enforce. Due to the competitive nature of how our society views sports, most kids spend a majority of their time on the bench during game time if they are athletically challenged and/or do not perform well.
We recognize that these kids also have a desire to play football or cheer and rise to the challenge through our mandatory 12-play game rule in an effort to offer motivation and encouragement.
The divisions in the Burnham organization include Flag (ages 5-7), Juniors (ages 10 and under), Seniors (ages 13 and under), and cheerleaders (ages 5-12). We also started a Special Needs team last year, unique to the Nittany Youth Football and Cheer League. This opportunity is offered to any resident of any age of Mifflin County who is mentally or physically challenged.
The games are scheduled between our Special Needs team and any participating business organization who provide staff for a "modified form of flag football." It's a great way to be involved in our local community and participate with the Special Needs program in an effort that offers excitement and joy to the lives of each participant.
If there are any Mifflin County residents, businesses or organizations who would like to contribute to any of these endeavors, please contact Noah Wise at 242-6411, Hoe Ughetto at 248-2092 or me at 247-3983. Any support through contributions and/or participation is greatly appreciated.
Scott J. Earnest,