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Cowboy tradition

Youth program aims to build on success

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Cowboy tradition

Manteca Cowboy Ethan Taylor takes the handoff during tackling drills Wednesday at the Cowboys’ practice session.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED August 5, 2011 12:06 a.m.

By JAGADA CHAMBERS

Staff Reporter of the

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

With the opening of the 2011 season the Manteca Cowboys youth football program is continuing their focus on developing players and, of course, winning championships.

The Cowboys had experienced a great deal of success since their 2003 inception, managing to win a host of team championships including back-to-back Super Bowl titles at the junior varsity level. The agenda has not changed, and the coaching staff feels it has the personnel in place to compete for a title on each level.

“Most of our coaches have been with me since 2003 from the very start,” team president and head varsity coach Eddie Lopez said. “Each coach has their own flavor for doing things, and obviously it’s working.

“Every year our organization is winning something.”

That fact is something that is undeniable when observing the Cowboy tradition. The program’s motto is “We Build Champions” and the proof is in the results. With consecutive Super Bowl titles in hand for the junior varsity group, chasing a third is definitely the goal for this upcoming season.

“I really like what I’ve seen this year, we have a good group of kids and they are very studious,” junior varsity head coach Paul Johnson said. “They are probably not as athletic as they have been in the past, but they are willing to learn. They’re a real workable group of players; I’m expecting a three-peat.

“When we lose I take it personal; it’s not the kids’ fault, it’s my fault, because I didn’t get them ready.”

The varsity club has garnered the attention of the national youth football scene, finishing the National Youth Football Championships as the Senior-Super Pro division National Champions. The teams won the Super Bowl title two seasons ago and have aspirations to close out this season as the National Youth Football title holders.

“I just worry about us,” Lopez jokingly admitted of his team’s chances against the rest of the league. “It really doesn’t matter who we play, the results are always the same.”

Varsity defensive coordinator Jay Foss has been involved with local youth football for nearly 20 years, yet feels he has finally found a home with the Manteca Cowboys.

“I think it’s because of the kids,” Foss said. “The only reason I am here is because of the kids. I’m not over here for the Pop-Warner politics or any of that stuff; I’m here for these kids. I demand these kids to be what they should be at home with their parents, not video game players.

“I come out here to show them the potential they have for their lives and for their futures.”

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