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Challenger Football


FALL SEASON – FLAG FOOTBALL for Special Needs Athletes
Registration is - OPEN (Jan 16 – Aug 4, 2018)

We will be launching this area’s first Challenger Division Season through our Center Ridge Hawks organization. It is our hope to register enough athletes to fill a few teams to start, and ensure local competition and a solid initial season. Our long term goal is to help grow and expand the program to include full successful local teams at each of the Greater Northwest Conference associations.

Our Challenger Division Head Coach will be Richard O’Neil. Richard has 3 years of coaching experience with Pop Warner. He was named Volunteer of the Year by GNCPW for 2016, for the countless hours of dedication as a coach and board member. He is a special needs parent as well to his daughter Anna who is 28 and his step-son Orion who is 19. He currently sits on the Center Ridge Hawks board as Webmaster.

The 2018 Challenger Season will kick off on Saturday, August 4th with a special event…TBA.

Practice will begin the second week in August. We will practice Tues evenings and Saturday afternoons for the first two weeks until Jamboree. We will participate in Jamboree. After that, as school starts, practices will go to one day per week, with one game each weekend for the remainder of the regular playing season. Challenger athletes will also be invited for exhibition performances at PW Nationals in FL. Nationals are held the first week in December. So, if your athlete chooses to participate in travel to Nationals, there will be additional weekly practices thru November, and we will be seeking sponsorship and fundraising opportunities to fully fund their travel.

The registration fee for the 2018 Challenger Football season is $150 (a payment plan is available). Registration fee includes:
    *     A personalized jersey with the athletes name
    *     matching shorts
    *     socks
These are the athlete's to keep when the season is over!

For information and questions, please contact our Challenger Program Coordinator: Kamella O’Neil at [email protected] or (360) 949-2804.

The mission of Pop Warner Challenger Division is to bring the Pop Warner experience to all interested special needs youthPop Warner’s overall goals are to enable young people to benefit from participation in team sports and activities in a safe and structured environment. By establishing a Challenger Division, Pop Warner is providing an opportunity for everyone to participate in the great game of football.  Our program teaches lessons of value that extend far beyond basic game play or spirit activities.  Challenger athletes will learn the basics of athletic body movement, awareness and strength, as well as self-discipline, teamwork, concentration, friendship, leadership, sportsmanship, and confidence…skills to carry with them for life.

The Challenger program is non-competitive, no score is kept. The games are modeled after a typical Pop Warner game with warm-ups, coin toss and play, etc. Participation in the Challenger Division is permitted at the request of each individual’s parent or guardian.

Modified rules of the Pop Warner Challenger Division:
    *     All games and practices held on turf fields
*     Challenger Division follows Pop Warner Flag Football Rules with modifications as noted in our current Rules Book.
    *     Player Aides are allowed as needed to push wheelchairs, or to help steady and guide athletes with such challenges as gait issues, sight impairment, etc..

    *     Open to all children ages 5-18 who are currently enrolled in school, with physical or mental disabilities.
    *     No score is kept.
    *     All players receive equal playtime.
    *     Team Jerseys and flags provided for every participant. Player aides will receive coordinating numbered t-shirts.

    *     Teams play two 25 minute half’s with a running clock.

TRAVEL ~ In an effort to allow our players the opportunity to compete with other Challenger teams, some travel may be required depending on the number of teams created.  This may include travel to the Seattle or Salem area for play.  Teams will be notified of their entire season schedule prior to their first game.