As our teams prepare to begin preparation for our sixth season, HKYFA currently stands at 120 students in the program. We’ve committed to four football teams (one in each age/weight class) in the CTYFL. There are four cheer squads as well. While registrations have closed, we still welcome interested players. Spread the word to interested families that football is beginning and new players may join during the next two weeks.
Cheer parents will have an orientation meeting Aug. 4 at 5:45 p.m. at the high school. Football parents will meet with individual head coaches during this week. There will be a group meeting Aug. 11 at 5:45 at Killingworth Recreational Park (KRP) on Parker Hill Road in Killingworth.
Medical (physician's consent) forms are due before players are allowed to begin practice. Please turn them into Diane Phipps or your head coach. For football players who have not received equipment, Kevin Wiese will be at KRP Aug. 4 with gear.
Some new things this year:
With the changes in the HKHS football coaching staff and athletic director, we have established an early relationship in an effort to cooperatively develop our participants for easy transition at the high school level. Head coach Mike Baklik has added some assistants who previously have been a part of our program. Many of our players participated in the summer football camp lead by the high school coaching staff this past week. HKYFA has sent several players to the high school football team so far, including several who have played – even started – as freshmen.
In addition to the space we've used the last two years, we will have access to practice two nights a week on a playing field at Killingworth Recreational Park (KRP) this season. We will line the field for football and have ordered portable goal posts for kicking practice. Thanks go to the HK Recreation Dept and the Killingworth Parks & Recreation Board for allowing HKYFA expanded use of the facilities.
As an aside, HKYFA has enjoyed the use of the high school facilities for our home games during the season and looks forward to doing so again, beginning Sept. 14. If you know of any members of the Board of Education (http://www.rsd17.org/district2.shtml) please thank them for their support.
Ron Lelko is the new football director and is working with the head coaches to bring more consistency in terms of drills, fundamentals, terminology and playbooks to the program. In addition, Ron will be a liaison with the high school team to ensure continuity between the two programs.
HKYFA, along with a few other CTYFL members, has allied itself with USA Football’s Heads Up program. Heads Up has received both financial and developmental support from the NFL as a comprehensive program promoting player safety. Jon Wink is HKYFA’s Player Safety Coach. He and all HKYFA football coaches will be certified at various levels in the Heads Up program.
Jenn Stanford is the new HKYFA booster director and will be introducing new opportunities to support HKYFA through Cougar gear and fundraising. Hold the date of Sept. 5 for a pasta dinner in place of the traditional tailgate picnic.
The HK cheer squads, coming off a phenomenal year in number of participants and success in competitions, will be competing this year at the XL Center in Hartford Oct. 18. If you haven’t seen a cheer competition, you’ll be impressed! Congratulations and thanks to Joyce Waterbury and her coaching staff for their dedication and success.
Scott Hines will be taking over home game food concessions this season. Please support the concession stand – both as a hungry fan and a volunteer! Profits pay for our game officials and athletic trainers.
Dominic Fucci takes over as field and safety coordinator. Help is always welcome for field setup and cleanup on game days.
Thanks to the following board members in their continuing roles Rob Steinhilper (vice president), Mike LaRosa (secretary), Eric Bruder (treasurer) Diane Phipps (parent liaison) Melissa Braun and Sal Pepitone (CTYFL representatives), Chad Giulini (webmaster), Eric Anderson (public relations) and Kevin Wiese (equipment manager).
Kevin also coordinates the annual golf tournament, which will be Sept. 19 at Portland Golf Course. Please support HKYFA’s principal fundraiser by being part of a foursome, soliciting sponsors, donating a door prize or volunteering.
Thanks to all of you for supporting the Cougars. Good luck to all the teams this year!