Allegheny Valley Youth Football League to crown 2021 champions
The Allegheny Valley Youth Football League has scheduled its annual Super Bowl Saturday for the Lernerville Field, located adjacent to the Lernerville Speedway in Buffalo Township.
The first game of the Triple Championship will be played at 11 a.m. between Lower Burrell Recruits (10-0) and Plum (9-1) in the 8-and-under division.
Game 2 will take place at 1 p.m. and feature Lower Burrell (10-0) against 8-2 RYFO (Rams Youth Football Organization of Highlands) to decide the title in the 10 and under division (135 pounds).
At 3 p.m., the championship will be played in the 12 and under (160 pounds) division where Freeport (10-0) will face RYFO (9-1).
In the youngest group, Lower Burrell will try to win his third consecutive title, on a streak of 22 consecutive victories. What is impressive is that there is considerable turnover in this age group.
“I remember our last loss; it was October 5, 2019, ”said rookie coach Josh Pollino. “We lost eight team starters last season. We are happy to have been fortunate enough to have good athletes. It is a group effort at all levels.
Pollino is in his fourth year as coach of the Lower Burrell team, his second as head coach.
One challenge for a youth football coach is not to stray from simple games with this age group.
Pollino said: “We like to do backhands and you can learn some things, but it can speed up in the corners.”
Almost all of the Rookies players are from the Burrell School District. Pollino said there are a handful of players over the years from other areas whose communities do not have youth football or have temporarily shut down their programs.
The Allegheny Valley Youth Football League is managed by a board of directors.
The president this year is Jim Newcomer, the vice-president is Shawn Mele of Lower Burrell, the secretary is Vince Shotting of Ford City and the treasurer is Matt Petruzzi of Deer Lakes.
The league emphasizes team play and sportsmanship. Individual statistics are not kept by the organization.
George Guido is a contributing writer for Tribune-Review.