The hours of practice continue at the Bartow High School practice fields, but the youngster involved in the Bartow Unlimited Football and Cheerleading program look forward to their Saturdays. Since Aug. 24, the teams have been in competition throughout Polk County with the cheerleading squads boosting the fans to support the young players.
As member of the Polk County Youth Football League, Bartow Unlimited has been playing all its games within the county, reducing the travel commitments found in some programs. Bartow has hosted Fort Meade and Polk City while traveling to South Lakeland, Lake Gibson and Auburndale.
The schedule involves playing each team twice, once on the road and once at home. The repeating opponents begin today as Bartow is hosting their opening rival South Lakeland. The remaining home schedule sees Bartow playing Lake Gibson on Oct. 19 and closing off the regular season against Auburndale on Oct. 26. All games are played on Saturday.
There are five divisions within the Bartow Unlimited program. On a typical game day, the flag/mini-flag division starts with the action with the 9 a.m. game. Pee Wee division takes the field following that action with those games scheduled to start at 10 a.m. The Middle division hits the field at 11:30 a.m. for their contest, followed by the Juniors at 1 p.m. The final activity of the day is the Senior game, which starts at 2:30 p.m.
Gate admission to Bartow home games is $2 for adults and $1 for children. Home games are played at Bartow Memorial Stadium at Bartow High School.
The long-running youth program is now under the direction of Terry Lewis who doubles as the Senior head coach. Lewis has been involved with the program for many years and has worked through many positions in seasons past. Under his leadership and support from the board of directors, many players are outfitted in new equipment for 2013. A successful pre-season fundraising campaign, led by fundraising coordinator Rachel Dominguez, has helped the organization move forward with equipment and other needs.
During a pre-season parents’ meeting, Lewis and his board of directors spelled out the costs of running a season to give the parents a better understanding of how the money is used. The organization is required to rent the stadium for home games and must maintain certain insurance levels. The organization is dedicated to keeping registration fees as low as possible to allow all interested youth to have a chance to participate.
The Polk County Youth Football organization offers post-season play for teams, based on their regular season record. Lowest seeds will meet in the first round, which will be played at Lake Gibson on Nov. 10 and Auburndale on Nov. 11.
The winners will meet the top two seeds in the second round of playoffs at Lake Gibson and Bartow (Bartow’s game is Nov. 16). The Super Bowl, which crowns the champion, will be held at Auburndale on Nov. 23. The flag teams have a single day tournament held on Nov. 2.
Another special post-season event is the Cheer Off competition for cheerleading squads. The 2013 Cheer Off is scheduled at Bartow Memorial Stadium on Nov. 3.
The 2013 board of directors with Lewis as president include vice president Ken Devore, secretary Sylvia Barker and treasurer Stephanie Schultz.
The mini-flag team squad includes Dylan Carter, Dorian Creider, Ethan Hernandez, Christopher Martin, Kason Mullis, Brayden Myrick, Elijah Patterson, Landon Smith and Jevon Young. The flag team roster for 2013 included Travion Butler, Tyson Clay, Nicholas Dominguez, Lincoln Long, Sean Miller, Tavares Murray Jr., Kaleef Valentine and Anthony Wedeman. The flag head coach is Theo Clay.
The 2013 PeeWee team is made up of Jacob Armstrong, Jordan Barker, Richard Bridgeman III, Joseph Brown, Jason Croft, Ladarrius Davis, Raymond Davis, Bryson Delaney, Liam Elliott, King Gilbert, Tyler Guffey, Tyson Guffey, Logan Henderson, Dalton Johnson, Shawn LaChance-Martin, Duane Lambert, Koby Patterson, Romalis Risin, Braxten Skipper, Bobby Smith, Aziekiel Tucker. The head coach is Robbie Henderson.
Players on the Middle teams include Jameson Barnes, Jarrett Brock, Johntayvious Brown, Payton Croft, Darriel Davis, Joseph Dominguez, Jakob Elliott, Kalib Giles, Nolyn Hackler, James Healy, Dalton Lacey, Jonathan Medina, Justin Morgan, Logan Moss, Marcus Peterson Jr., Quinn Roberts, Dannie Sweet and Kristopher Webb. The Middles coach is Alex Dominguez.
The Junior squad consists of Brett Alfsen. Maleik Brown, Tra’Shon Butler, Freddie Carter, Ethan Delaney, Kenneth Devore, Braden Dominguez, Kevin Gammage, Alex Guadarrama, Le’Darius Henry, Javonte Hudson, Timajsha Jeanty, Thomas Johnson, Jarvis Jones, Jayvin Jones, Joshua Jones, Jacob Pahlman, Trimaine Patterson, Dominic Provenzano, Devonte’ Thomas, Leon Henry Veytia and Devin Williams. The head coach is Bartow Police Officer Mike Quinn.
The 2013 Seniors are Ahmaad Bradshaw Jr., Bryson Clem, Garrit Cloud, D’Jimone Collins, Dequarius Cooper, Javonta Cooper, Shane Dailey, Eddie Grant, Masyn Hilleshiem, Traquan Jones, Dakota Kott, Tristan Phipps, Elio Reyes Jr., Uriel Sanchez, Bobby Shearer, Dylan Sutton, Trever Taylor and Shaun Williams. Head coach is Terry Lewis.
Three squads of cheerleaders support the teams throughout 2013 and will be entering the 2013 Cheer Off in November.
The Mini/Flag cheer squad is Aubrey Baxley, Chelsea Alexandra Beckford, Hailey Cavazos, Bailee Ellis, Alexandria Harris, Nataleigh Kragh, Savannah Myers, Layla Patterson, Arielle Saliford, Tyrielle Saliford, Marrissa Sanchez, Destine Smith, Lexi Soles and Kayra Spitnale. The head coach is Dee Patterson.
The Pee Wee team is cheered on by Keilana Bagley, Brianna Elliott, Caitlyn Hernandez, Aaliyah Lee, Alexa Lee, Chloe Long, Mackenzie Long, Aubrey Martin, Hanna Moss, Azarea Risin, Hannah Ryals, Darielle Saliford, Catalyna Sanchez, Janiya Simmons and Angelina Veytia. The Pee Wees coach is Audra Elliott.
The juniors squad is the largest group. This year’s team includes Jashayla Anderson, Kaitlyn Banuolo, Paige Blankenship, Alyssa Cannon, Kylie Holder, Alyssa Joiner, Kaymil Kikta, Emily McQuaig, Nikita Neal, Anna Oakley, Kamarie Owens, Teanna Patterson, Taylor Petrovich, Sarah Pittman, Sierra prentice, Haley Provenzano, Mikayla Quinn and Bryana Reyes. The coach is Kayla Long.