A player for the Gonzales Black senior division team gets tackled by Cameron Fuhrken of the Titan White senior division team during a youth football game Saturday at the O'Connor Sports Complex on Saturday.
Photo by Angeli Wright.
Thanks to the Crossroads Youth Football League, children in Victoria don't have to wait until they're 14 to call themselves either a Titan or a Warrior.
Beginning next season the league will realign to put the Victoria kids into either a Titan or Warrior team based on whether the player will attend Victoria East or West.
"We want to help our football program here in Victoria," said CYFL president Kevin Black. "I'm looking forward to helping Victoria have a winning football program and that's what our goal is to try to get these youngsters on the same page."
The CYFL is youth football league with teams in Victoria, Gonzales, Yorktown, Hallettsville, Cuero, Yoakum, Goliad and Port Lavaca.
Kids participate in divisions as young as the freshman division for kids ages 6 and younger to the senior division for kids 12 and younger.
Although the CYFL wanted to realign the Victoria teams this season, Black said it wasn't possible since East had more new players, but West had more returning players.
The model is based on what happens in smaller towns with CYFL teams. On those teams, kids have developed chemistry with each other since they grew up playing together on their youth football teams.
"By the time they get to high school, they know everybody's tendencies and they know what to do," said Titans Black coach Ernest Perry. "In Victoria, they're mixed and matched so you really don't know who they're playing with until they get to high school."
Black admitted that he was concerned about parental reaction when the league announced the East-West realignment. But, he said the CYFL has won people over.
"I think that most of the parents really believe in what we're doing as far as the East-West thing goes," Black said. "I think it'll be fun from here on out."
Although the split is new, many CYFL parents signed up their kids to help them get a head start.
Thirty-eight-year old Patrick Caviel's son Kameron is one of Perry's players on the Titans Black team.
Caviel said he enjoys watching the way the kids have improved since practice began and hopes to see more in the future.
"(They can) Progress all the way through high school and maybe get to college, hopefully," Caviel said with a smile.
Black said the kids are enjoying the realignment. He added that they are having fun talking about next season and some have to be reminded that they are teammates this season.
Perry, a Goliad native, said the league gives kids an opportunity some of their parents and coaches didn't have as youngsters, a chance to play and learn.
Most adults didn't play the game for the first time until they are in middle school.
"You spent the first week learning how to put your pads on and just getting to do the fun little things these kids know now," Perry said.