View Mobile Site

Rebels on the rise

Rough 2009 in rear-view mirror for Delta

Text Size: Small Large Medium
Rebels on the rise

Talmadge House of the Delta Rebels varsity squad strengthens his grip on the football with his eyes set on the “end zone” during practice at Lincoln Park Monday.


POSTED August 2, 2011 12:58 a.m.

The 2009 season may have marked the beginning of the end for one of Manteca’s oldest youth football and cheer organizations.

Second-year president Angela Ott and the rest of the Delta Rebels’ board members believe that 2010 was a new beginning.

Two years ago, the future was bleak when their varsity squad had to disband for not having the requisite 18 players to field a team. That was after the 2008 varsity Rebels advanced to the Delta youth Football League Super Bowl with just 18 players.

Meanwhile, newer youth football programs were taking shape in the area, and last season a sixth — the now-defunct Central Valley Wolfpack — was established in Manteca.

 “That was devastating to this team, and it was a sickening feeling,” Ott said. “You’re just not a complete unit without having the littlest team and the biggest team.

“I had to send kids across town to the Chargers, kids who had been with us since they were 6. I didn’t want them to think that we didn’t want them, we just didn’t want them to lose out on an opportunity to play.”

Things are looking up again for Delta, which was established in 1984 to rival the original Manteca Cowboys.

Last season, the Rebels had the minimum 18 players to form a varsity contingent. The junior varsity and novice squads both advanced to the second round of the DYFL South Conference playoffs after failing to do so in 2009. And the junior novice team more than held its own during a postseason jamboree despite having just 12 players suited up for the event.

The Rebels are again low on numbers on the varsity team, but Ott anticipates to have around 20-25 players by the time the DYFL season kicks off on Aug. 27. The novice and JV teams will participate in jamborees on Aug. 13 and 14, and the varsity will host one on Aug. 20.

The team is still accepting signups during practices at Lincoln Park Monday-Friday nights from 6 to 8. Scholarships will be offered to those in need of financial help, and fundraising will help supply equipment and jerseys. 

 “We’re in better shape,” said secretary Anthony Rosales, who is also an assistant coach for the JV team. “We’re still picking up new players. We’re never going to get to (the maximum) 45 players like the teams in Tracy do, but we don’t have to cut anyone and these kids will all get to play.”

Ott aims to bring back the family atmosphere that previous generations of Delta Rebels teams enjoyed. Growing up in Manteca, she had cousins and friends play football or cheer for the team, and Ott said she tagged along to watch practices and games almost every day.

“We’re getting a lot of players back, and we have (former players) who are now bringing their kids to the team,” Ott said. “It’s like coming full circle. It’s also nice that we’ve been pretty consistent with the board, because over the years we’ve had a lot of changes there.

“I think we’re on the upswing. We’re building this team back up, and it’s because we have some great parents. That’s what keeps it going is parent involvement and dedication.”

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...