By Ashley Ferraro
The Parkland Rangers kicked off their tackle football and cheerleading season on August 1st with four football team divisions and five cheer squads. This year marks the league’s sixth year as a member of the Gold Coast Pop Warner Conference (GCPWC) and its fifteenth year overall.
To commemorate the start of the season, the Rangers held their annual parent kickoff. The league also had a giant pep rally on the evening of Friday, September 9th, as a pre-homecoming celebration. The event included food for the players, cheerleaders, and families and allowed the cheer teams to put on a short performance.
The next day, the Rangers hosted homecoming at Pine Trails Park, at the fields they practice and play on. They had food trucks, a DJ, raffle baskets, and more. And despite rocky weather conditions, three of the four football teams were able to play their games, with two securing wins.
As the regular season came to a close, all four of the Rangers football teams progressed to the playoffs. Two teams, 8U and 10U, advanced beyond the playoffs to the Super Bowl and were impressively named Gold Coast champions.
The Rangers cheer squads also participated in the Gold Coast championship for cheerleading, with all five teams bringing home wins. Most notably, the Junior Varsity Gold squad took the Overall Grand Champions title. The cheer teams are still competing and hoping to progress to globals, as they did last year.
But the fun didn’t stop there–the 8U and 10U football teams advanced to regionals, playing various teams from different parts of the state. The 8U team made it as far as the second round of regionals, with the 10U team progressing through the first round.
Both the football and cheerleading teams participate in the All-American Scholar Program, which recognizes the most academically accomplished Pop Warner student-athletes each year. Based on their grades and other activities and achievements, football players and cheerleaders are selected to go to Orlando in the spring to receive recognition.
The Parkland Rangers is an excellent organization to get involved in, as it encourages youth development in sports, academics, and other essential qualities. And unlike many other organizations, the Rangers boast a “Must Play” rule, meaning every child on a team has to participate in each game. The policy was implemented in order to effectively teach discipline, dedication, and teamwork.
Our City recently named the Parkland Rangers Football & Cheer program “the best children’s sports program” for the second year. Thanks to the board members and coaches, which entirely consists of volunteers, and the league’s sponsors, the Parkland Rangers can foster a supportive environment for our community’s youth.
Although the cheer squads are still progressing in their competition, Parkland Rangers is already looking forward to the 2023 season next August. For more information and to keep up with the Rangers, please visit parklandrangers.com.