Pop Warner expanding to Wolf River region

Program develops fundamentals of football
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Duck Creek Pop Warner Football is expanding to the Wolf River Region to give youth players the opportunity to learn fundamentals of the game with an emphasis on safety.

The purpose of the program, which is offered to boys and girls who will be entering grades 3-6 in fall 2018, is to teach the concept of good sportsmanship, fair play and teamwork while providing a safe environment for the area youth to learn the fundamentals of football.

The Wolf River Region league will include Shawano, Bonduel, Bowler, Clintonville, Marion, Wittenberg, Gresham, Gillett and Keshena.

“This is a big thing for the area,” Wolf River Region board member and coach Jeremy Gretzinger said. “The safety component that’s implemented hasn’t been implemented in past youth football programs here. I see it opening a lot of opportunities for kids and their parents, knowing safety is a main focus.”

Pop Warner Football, a nationally-recognized youth program that was established over 75 years ago, takes increased measures to ensure safety and protection of players. That’s a large part of the program’s appeal in Shawano, Gretzinger said.

“There’s been youth football in Shawano for the past 11 years but there aren’t trainers on-site if needed. It’s not as structured around safety,” Gretzinger said. “But it’s really not a competition with other programs in the area, it’s just another program that I think will really enhance the community. We have every passion to better Shawano and all the surrounding areas.”

The program takes safety measures such as helmet fittings for all players by Bellin Health Sports Medicine trainers, who also attend every game. There are also weight and height restrictions to help prevent possible injuries.

Additionally, supplementary insurance coverage is provided to all players, with parents and coaches protected against any claims from injuries. There are also WIAA officials at every game.

As for the focus on fundamentals, the program ensures training in both offense and defense for all players with the guarentee to play a minimum 12 plays.

Pop Warner Football partners with the Green Bay Packers to offer extra incentives, including parent and coaching clinics, individual sponsorships and tickets to Packer Games.

The program also promotes community involvement by encouraging parents to become members of the Wolf River Region board, along with offering opportunities for area sponsorships.

In an effort to keep the program community-focused, scholarships will be offered to players based on profits made at games throughout the season.

The Wolf River Region league is based out of the Howard/Suamico area, but practices and several games will be held in Shawano. The season begins with a three-day minicamp at the end of June played in Shawano, with games starting in August.

For more information, there are informational meetings on Monday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 21, at 10 a.m. at Hillcrest Primary School.

Any questions can be directed to Duck Creek Pop Warner Commissioner Shawn Sell at 920-664-6185 or online at duckcreekpopwarner.com.

AT A GLANCE

WHO: Duck Creek Pop Warner

WHAT: Wolf River Region informational meeting

WHEN: Monday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Commons, Hillcrest Primary School, 1410 S. Waukechon St., Shawano