Football Fun Around Town Parkland Rangers Tackle Football Program
By Stacy Case. Photos courtesy of Chris Maroon
So the professional football players get paid millions of dollars to don their NFL uniforms once a week but around here, we have the priceless opportunity of witnessing gridiron greatness amongst the youths via some excellent local recreational leagues. In particular, the Coral Springs Chargers Tackle Football Club has offered area players the chance to not only participate in one of the most popular sports in this country on a local level for years, but some of the program’s age divisions also made it far enough to get their team excellence known on a higher level this past season.
Six teams from the Coral Springs Chargers advanced to the playoffs and made quite an imprint on their very own league. “I was very impressed with our whole group and I really think everyone had a lot of fun,” says A.J. Poulin, who recently concluded his second year as the Chargers President. And while A.J. explains that all of his playoff teams gave valiant efforts, he pinpoints a few of them a bit further. “A lot of the players on our 7U team played their third year already as a Charger,” he tells us, “And it was so great to watch those kids play together; what a great bond they had.”
Additionally, most of the 13U Chargers players finished their last year with the program because they aged out but plan to take it further. A.J. approximates that nearly 75 percent of them will be playing high school football next year as freshmen. “We get many of our athletes coming back from one year to the next, many of them doing so until they’ve gotten to the end of their career as a Charger,” adds A.J., whose children are also part of the Chargers program.
This year, like many in the past, the Chargers, who call Mullins Park their home field, fall under the American Youth Football League umbrella in which they played against teams from Coconut Creek, Tamarac, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Cooper City and several others during their regular season schedule. And despite some very close games, all of the Chargers’ seasons concluded earlier than they had hoped for, but plenty of good experiences were had by all involved.
“I saw our teams have a great bond this year and we just didn’t want it to end,” A.J. says, whose 243 Chargers players had Spring training all through May with games having started in mid August.
He also points out that despite the Chargers 10U team having not made the playoffs, what they exemplified was very admirable. “Nobody on that 10U team gave up; not the coaches, not the players, not the parents,” A..J. says. “And all season long, we had so many kids and coaches on each of our teams with that same mentality.”
Since quite a few of the Chargers earned playoff berths, A.J.’s conundrum was that of choosing which team to watch in the playoffs, as they were spread throughout Broward County. He says that was a good problem to have and wants to see a high percentage of returners next year. A.J.’s hope now is that all of this year’s Chargers players (aside from those who have aged out now) come back for the 2018 season. His optimism just may play out, given the testimonials he received once all teams’ seasons finished.
The Spectator is excited to congratulate every 2017 Chargers team for their exemplary play and teamwork!