BERLIN- The Berlin Dolphins Youth Football Teams begin their 2008 campaign in the Salvation Army Youth Football League.
The Berlin Dolphins practice and play their home games at Buckingham Elementary School. Many people seem to be unaware that the Berlin/Ocean City area is blessed with two area leagues for kids to get football experience. The Salvation Army League features two divisional teams based on their age and weight. The younger divisional team is called Berlin Dolphin Cadets and features kids ages 7-10 with maximum weight of 120 lbs.
Meanwhile, the older division is the Berlin Dolphin Juniors and features kids ages 11-13 with maximum weight of 150 lbs. Parents often frightened of their kids playing football are unaware that within the two divisions are A & B teams that feature kids matched against kids their own size and skills.
What makes the Berlin Dolphin program so much better is the experience of the two teams’ head coaches. First, the Cadets (7-10 years old) are led by head coach Ron Bireley, who is entering his 31st year of coaching youth football. Meanwhile the Berlin Dolphin Juniors (11-13 years old) are lead by head coach Earnest Shockley, a Stephen Decatur High School standout and a former Division I college football player.
Bireley said he hears feedback constantly from parents about how grateful they are for their children to learn how to play football from such an experienced coaching staff. Nowhere else in the area can players learn football from more experienced coaches, who have seen and done it all and can take any child of any playing level and ability and improve their skills and self esteem while teaching them both teamwork and fun of playing football.
The coaches emphasize safety and conditioning while promoting the fun of the sport. Secondly, many of the parents say they appreciate playing in the Salvation Army League because it is more convenient. Many of the teams are located in Salisbury or Worcester County making it just like playing in the Bayside Conference like the local high school teams including Stephen Decatur.
Parents in today’s economy are very happy to play away games so close to home saving on gas and time. The kids and parents also like that some of the games are played at night under the lights during the week and not always on Saturday. Kids love playing under the lights.
Any parent interested in getting his or her child a true football experience while playing for the Berlin Dolphins please contact Ron Birely at (410) 641-0948. For more information or to sponsor the team, please visit the web site www.BerlinFootball.org. Training camp has started and roster spots are still available. The Dolphins still need local sponsors for equipment as well.