“We have built, and continue to build, a complementary team of paid non-parent and volunteer parent coaches for our youth tackle program,” said Steve Santa-Maria, Weston Trojan Youth Football and Cheer board president. “This will be a great opportunity to meet the coaches, who will introduce the Trojan approach to football and go over expectations for the season, practice schedules, Fairfield County Football League updates and other issues of importance to players and parents.”
Under the direction of Joe Lato, head coach of the Weston High football team, the Weston Trojan Youth Football coaches have been undergoing extensive training, including weekly meetings, since the end of April. In addition to concussion, CPR and first aid training, the entire coaching staff is preparing for certification under USA Football, which is the official youth football development partner of the NFL.
Coach Lato is also running clinics for the youth coaches to enhance their knowledge of age-based, on-field techniques and drills. They have the added advantage of learning firsthand from Coach Lato about the high school football program, so that they can all work toward the common goals of a feeder program.
Currently, there are 12 coaches assigned to the tackle program, representing years of experience as highly accomplished football players and youth coaches. “I am really excited about the group we have assembled,” said Lato. “Our coaches are all about giving kids the skills, confidence and opportunities they need to become contributing members of a team. We want to bring out the best in these kids, as they come together to represent their town and take pride in doing so.
“Now that our coaching program for tackle is well underway, we are turning our attention to flag football,” Coach Lato added. “Coaching flag football is a perfect opportunity for those who’d like to get involved in youth sports, but don’t have as much time to commit. My own kids play flag football, and their coaches have as much fun as they do. The younger kids really get into flag, because it’s an easy, safe way to start playing football and making a connection with the high school team.”
Flag football for firs through fourth grade starts after Labor Day, with one practice a week in Weston and games on Saturday in Westport. The first game is on Sept. 10 and last game on Oct. 22. Anyone interested in coaching flag football should contact Coach Lato directly at JosephLato@westonps.org or (203) 291-1618 for more information.
For more information about the youth program visit www.trojansfootball.org.