Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

September 1, 2013

Pop Warner finds its way to Title Town

VALDOSTA — Football is as much a part of the culture of South Georgia as sweet tea, so it is only natural that children would be chomping at the bit to suit up and play the game like the guys they look up to on Friday nights.

Pop Warner football has made its way to Valdosta.

On Saturday afternoon, parents and children gathered at Goddard Field at Valwood School to watch The TitleTown Titans take on the visiting Colquitt Hawgs.

The Pop Warner football league has been around since it was founded by Joseph J. Tomlin in 1929 as a four-team conference in Northeast Philadelphia.

Since then, participation has steadily increased and now more than 250,000 youths participate in Pop Warner-sanctioned football programs.

James Gatlin is the man that brought Pop Warner to Valdosta.

“Crews, out of Albany, Ga., contacted me and we did some research,” said Gatlin. “We looked into it and saw that 75 percent of NFL players come out of Pop Warner league, so we wanted to join in.”

Children can begin playing Pop Warner football as young as 5 years old and continue up until they reach 12. Players are then grouped into one of four leagues by an age and weight matrix.

The 5, 6, and 7-year-olds between 35-75 pounds play in the Tiny Mite division while the 7, 8, and 9-year-olds between 45-90 pounds play in the Mighty Mite division.

The Junior Pee-Wee league is made up of players ages 8, 9, and 10 that weigh between 60-105 pounds. The oldest division in Valdosta play in the Pee-Wee league at the ages of 10, 11, and 12 and 90-145 pounds.

All four divisions played on Saturday, each of them facing their Colquitt Hawgs counterparts.

The Tiny Mites were the first to play. The game was a lot of fun and a learning experience for both teams, but Pop Warner does not keep score of Tiny Mite games. Teams use the games as a chance to teach the children the game of football.

Pop Warner exists to use football as well as a respect for education to develop strong, smart, responsible, healthy children. Tiny Mites especially use the experience to build an appreciation for and understanding of leadership, teamwork, and discipline.

In the Mighty Mites game, the Titans were able to pull out a victory over the Hawgs 14-0. The Hawgs responded by winning the Junior Pee-Wee division game by a score of 12-0.

Pop Warner doesn’t track individual stats in their games, instead choosing to recognize the athletic accomplishments of the team, not the individual.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • pilcher.jpg Berrien competes in 6-team passing camp

    If Ed Pilcher had his way, Berrien High would never throw the football.
    But that doesn't mean the veteran coach doesn't enjoy the opportunity that a passing league, or the six-team passing camp at Cairo on Thursday morning, can provide his Rebels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Lowndes_Tville 2.jpg Sneak Preview

    Fall practice doesn’t start for another eight days.
    Still, Lowndes High and Thomasville High got a sneak preview of what Friday nights will look like Wednesday morning at Martin Stadium.

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Brooks_1.jpg Making progress

    Four weeks ago, the Brooks County Trojans took Highway 84 west to Thomas County for a 7-on-7 passing league and on Tuesday morning the Yellow Jackets returned the favor, traveling to Quitman for the second 7-on-7 of the summer between the two teams.
    At the first 7-on-7, Thomas County Central had not yet decided on a replacement at quarterback after the school's all-time leading rusher Adam Choice departed for Clemson, but junior Eli Taylor began to make strides towards being the Jackets’ starting signal caller. On Tuesday Taylor's competition got a chance to shine.

    July 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More