Wildcats Roam Bristol Once Again
by Cate Murway
Football has captured America’s imagination for over a century, but its best days are yet to come.
Are there any lasting benefits to this 100-year-old game? Definitely.
Once again, The Bristol Wildcats Unlimited Football Club will be roaming a field near you.
You can become part of the team!
Football is clearly one of America’s favorite games. It is blue-collar America; the working class, working together reflecting early America with their unfurrowed and open fields. The young athletes will enjoy the benefits of physical exercise while learning life lessons through the sport, football’s timeless qualities of leadership, responsibility, perseverance and teamwork. They will also come to understand that potent defense, much like the early pioneer’s challenging terrain, can hinder even the most determined advance.
Below the radar of popular athletic culture is something that has profoundly shaped the lives of millions of Americans for the better: youth sports. Intense physical activity lowers body fat, strengthens muscles and increases the likelihood of establishing and continuing good health habits.
It's been more than 3 decades since Bristol had something this exciting in town. The Wildcats have touched many lives in Bristol Borough. A generation ago, the athletes had a blast and now, a generation later, it's going to be even more fun, and research has proven that athletes tend to have higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of depression.
Football is viewed as one of the more aggressive, high contact sports but there are a plethora of tangible benefits and unique experiences acquired through participation; it is all about teamwork and staying active. Youth sports are not only a place to learn the nuances of the sport, but they are a training ground for kids to learn honesty and fair play. Educational achievement also correlates with youth-sports participation.
Everyone has heard ‘winning isn't everything’, but for the Wildcats participants, victory will be sweet.
So, stay tuned as the Wildcats prepare to dominate and fascinate once again. One team, one goal!
This “little league” can have a BIG effect! Emotional attachment to competition is intense.
Historic Bristol on the Delaware is passionately involved in “Raising the Bar”. Other things being equal, if a child plays sports, he/she will earn more money, stay in school longer, and be more engaged in civic life. Hard work can lead to excellence and it can transform lives.
Athletes learn on the field that effort and success are connected.
Fighting and scrapping with all you have, alongside your teammates, and then being successful, even in one play, is a moving experience.
Why would one believe that effort matters? Maybe it’s because they played youth sports.
Michael Gerenda and Christopher Chapman, both BHS ’87 graduates, have the hearts of winners, focusing on sportsmanship, effort, and excellence with solid value ethics.
Their plan to resurrect the Bristol Borough youth football opportunity for 12-15 year olds came after many shared episodes of accumulated stories and memories. Their Wildcat experiences were too rewarding to relinquish.
“Some of the kids we played with are in California and in Texas and we’re all connected on social networks. There’s a lot of guys out there doing a lot of neat things who started in the Wildcats. ”
Mike and Chris presented their idea to the Bristol Borough school board. “They are embracing it. This would be a feeder program for the High School.”
The goal of the program is to build a strong family of players, coaches and parents that operate on philosophies of academics, respect, responsibility and sportsmanship, on and off the field.
Football/ baseball/ wrestling athlete, Julian R. Bley, Jr., BHS ’70 began coaching with his late father, Julian R. Bley, Sr. His Little League coach, the late Jimmy Potena had asked him, “When are you going to give back?” Julian unselfishly gave back, coaching the original Wildcats team from 1974-83.
“The kids were great. Some I still see today.”
The grassroots Borough resident team of Mike, Chris, treasurer, Dawn Trappasse, and fundraiser, Kimberly “Kim” Crockett have Julian’s blessing.
They are planning on running camps during the summer months in the fields behind BHS.
The founding team members are avidly searching for startup funding for this community based athletic program and one of the goals is to make it as affordable as possible.
“We’re starting from the ground up. We need your help purchasing equipment, uniforms, footballs, and helmets etc...”
Times have changed. “We had hand-me-down stuff from the High School.”
7 Summits Healthy Snacks & Teas is more than happy to be part of the team. They will be donating $1.50 per each bag sold to the Wildcats uniform and equipment fund. This healthy snack will go an extra long way for the Wildcats and “eating your vitamins never tasted so good”!
“Concession monies go right back to the team.”
To make this effort possible, they are counting on people like you to embrace this together.
A contribution can enable the youth athletes to experience the pageantry and excitement of football, many for the first time, and help create new maroon and gold memories that will last a lifetime.
For details, contact President/Coach Chris Chapman 215.436.5171 OR
Director of Football Operations/ Coach Mike Gerenda 215.962.7058.
All fans young and old are encouraged to participate and enjoy, and make history in this area!
“Don’t hesitate. Don’t be shy. We need you to make this happen. Looking for all Wildcat alumni, coaches and players...also if anyone has old pictures we will definitely add you to our photo album.”
See you this Fall.
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