Seaford Elite Youth Football offering free football, cheer registration
SEAFORD, Del. – Calling all youth football players! For their upcoming season, Seaford Elite Youth Football is registering football players and cheer leaders for free. “COVID hit and people do not have the funds to be able to come out and pay the fees that we have to actually participate,” said the team’s Vice President and Secretary Marlene Rodriquez.
Rodriquez says she hopes to see families take advantage of this opportunity, and use it as a positive light in dark times. “Kids want to be out. They want to be on the field. Girls want to cheer, and it’s just mainly about us giving back into the community,” said Rodriquez.
Team President and Coach Shawn Williams says while the registration fee will be waived this year, there is only a one time $20 fee for team ID’s. “You don’t need four or five jerseys, you know what I’m saying? We provide the basics. We provide stuff for them to play in. Every kid that wants to come out and play – we don’t want any kid left behind or anyone left out,” said Williams.
Seaford Elite Youth Football serves football players and cheerleaders ages 5 through 13. But Williams says it’s more than just a sport. He says growing up, football gave him a purpose and sense of community. So, he says the team wanted to make sure that all kids could get involved, regardless of any financial burden they’re facing because of COVID-19. “I really felt like I belonged to something, and it gave me a purpose. I want every kid to feel the way that I felt – give them an outlet – and give families a break. Peoples’ finances have been hit hard, and we don’t want that to be an issue. If you want to play, there’s a place for you to come,” said Williams.
Williams says they’ve had some donations from community members to help cover the lost fees. He adds the team is about halfway to their goal, and he’s confident they can get there. “We haven’t done a lot of fundraising, but we have had some generous people who have reached out to us and helped us a lot. Hopefully more people will do it. We know what number we need to hit and we’re halfway there, and that’s awesome,” said Williams.
Williams says looking ahead, he hopes to expand the team and offer other ways of character building. “We serve as role models. We serve as mentors to the kids, and of course we teach them the finer points of football. We do a lot with the kids and we would like to expand the program this coming year to incorporate some other things,” said Williams.