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Spartans youth football program keeps kids at home

Program began six years ago with intent to maintain Saugus area players

Posted: August 6, 2013 10:06 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2013 10:06 p.m.
A Spartans football teams (lined up on the right) gets ready to run a play. A Spartans football teams (lined up on the right) gets ready to run a play.
A Spartans football teams (lined up on the right) gets ready to run a play.

The emergence of the Spartan football program sprung up from the roots of another local program.

Six years ago, Spartans formed as somewhat of a breakaway from Santa Clarita Warriors football, the oldest program in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The creators wanted to put together a collection of youth teams that specifically attracted kids from the Saugus area.

Spartans President Ron Lopez said close to 90 percent of the 90 kids currently enrolled in Spartans live within Saugus High School’s boundaries.

Lopez said that was the intent of starting a program that’s mostly based at Saugus High.

“I’d say that was one of the underlying reasons for the start of the Saugus Spartans was to try to keep local kids local,” Lopez said.

The Spartans hold nearly all of their practices and home games at Saugus High School and all the teams don navy blue and silver uniforms, similar to the high school colors.

“The kids kind of want to look like their older brother and things like that so the programs tend to mirror each other,” said Lopez, who took over as president this year and has been coaching with the program since last year.

The Spartans are a member of the Gold Coast Youth Football League along with the crosstown Santa Clarita Wildcats.

They are two of the 14 chapters within the GCYFY, which services areas surrounding the SCV, Fillmore, Acton and throughout Ventura County.

After roughly eight regular season games, the top Spartan teams from each age group move on to playoffs to face off against some of the other chapters with the league.

A championship game, or Super Bowl, is held in November at the conclusion of the playoffs.

At almost every level, Spartans football tries to put coaches in place with significant experience.

“It’s a fairly competitive league,” Lopez said. “One of the things that I found coming into it is there are a lot of high school coaches coaching at the youth football level.”

That includes Lopez, who is a former Saugus High JV coach.

This season, Spartans has a total of five teams: the Mighty Mites (ages 6-8), Bantam (7-9), Junior (9-11), J1 (11-12) and J2 (12-13). The GCYFL also has a Senior team available for ages 13-14, though Spartans doesn’t field such a team. The ages in each team can vary slightly based on weight classifications.

Each of the teams is separated into Division I and Division II based on the level of competition.

For the Spartans, the goal is to always keep that level as high as possible.



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