Steelers getting set for next season

Published 9:29 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Suffolk Steelers midget football team, above, finished the season with a 7-0 win versus the Wilmington Hurricanes in a bowl game in Wilmington, Del. in early December. The Steelers went 8-2 this season and won the Southeastern Virginia Pop Warner Conference championship.

The Suffolk Steelers football and cheerleading teams had all sorts of success and that success took them all over the East Coast last fall.

Keeping the teams going for as many boys and girls as possible is a year-round job and the Suffolk Inner City Athletic Association is looking for new talent – for the sidelines.

The association is hosting its annual Meet and Greet on Saturday, April 2 at 11 a.m. at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

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“We’ve been doing this for probably about six or seven years,” said Fred Greene, president of the Suffolk Inner City Athletic Association.

“It’s an opportunity for new coaches to come and talk with us and see how we operate,” Greene said.

Greene knows of a couple new potential coaches he’s recruited into the Steeler family during the offseason. Anyone interested in coaching football or cheering/dance, even someone brand new to the Steelers, is encouraged to come out and learn more.

The Steelers had multiple football teams win season championships and reach the Pop Warner playoffs. Two Steeler squads traveled to bowl games in Delaware in early December.

One of the Steeler dance teams won its district and regional competitions to go on to Pop Warner Nationals in Orlando, Fla.

“You have to have patience with the kids. You have to be able to talk with the kids because a lot of the kids we have, we’re talking about high-risk kids here in downtown,” Greene said about the perfect coaching qualifications, perhaps even more important than teaching tackling fundamentals.

“You need to be patient and sort of be a big brother,” Greene said.

“You’ve got to love kids and be willing to give your time because there’s a lot of traveling,” he said.

The association is also looking for volunteers to take up an assistant athletic director and a secretary position and that will be part of the meet and greet event.

Coaches still interested after learning a little bit will be invited to an open forum on April 9 where returning coaches and new coaches will discuss plans for the upcoming season.

The Steelers will have their spring softball season again and are adding a flag football season, running from May until mid-July, right before Pop Warner football practice gets rolling.

“We try to get the same coaches active in (all of the sports) all year long,” Greene said.

Along with all the teams and games, the association works to help kids academically. Tutoring and study halls take priority before football and cheering practices. Kids must keep good grades in order to play.

For more information about the Steelers, call Greene at 237-1494 or the association’s founder/treasurer David Baker at 539-9407.