By Tracie Isaac –
Rochester City Council recently recognized the Rochester Rams for placing Rochester in the top position for their division when they became the World Youth Champions of the Peewee Division last December at the Professional Football Hall of Fame National Championship in Canton, Ohio.
The team of predominantly males, one female player and their coaches, defeated the Methuen Rangers with a final score of 35-0 to win the national title. Each member received a Certificate from the City of Rochester for the historical victory.
Six years ago, Ms. Trelawney McCoy became President of the Rochester Rams Organization. The organization for young people is comprised of seven football teams in various divisions and six cheer-leading and dance squads of 125 girls. This year the organization has a few victories under their belts in football, cheer and dance squads. Additional leaders for the organization include Karla Bisbee McGill, Director of Cheer Dance, Coach Kwame Coleman and Terry McLamore, Head Coach of Peewee football and consulting coach of the Junior Varsity (JV) division.
It’s been an exciting year for the Rochester Rams Organization. Three of the four dance squads won the Global Cheer-leading Championship held in Atlantic City, NJ.
Haylee Green, a 10 year old from Rochester, made history as the only girl player out of 100+ children league-wide. Her mother decided to sign her up for tackle football with the Rochester Rams. Haylee began playing football in the street with her friends and neighbors.
“Sometimes my opponents doubt me, until I show them that I can play this game too,” she said.
She is known to be tough and believes that youth football is for everyone and she is making her mark by following her dreams.
“We try to prepare both our boys and girls to become the men and women they want to be. We teach character building principles and disciplines that will build up our youth for their future,” said McCoy.
Prayer and faith based structure is shared in the organization to allow the youth to bring their problems to someone for their support. The youth involved even get support in their education.
“We share with our youth that this is an organization where you can come and talk to someone about anything going on in your life. We support them and their family,” McCoy noted. “This type of support goes a long way to let the players and dancers know that they can accomplish their dreams through hard work and faith. Youth participants must also maintain at least a C average to play football or cheer/dance.”
Behavior on the field and off the field is key.—if a player or dancer is reported to have difficulty with grades or behavior, coaches from the Rochester Rams Organization visit the schools to obtain the status of the youth by talking to their teachers.
“Preparation is the most important thing we instill in our youth to take them to the next level in high school. We feel this is great training for life experiences,” Coach McLamore said.
McLamore feels that it is monumental to be a part of young lives and have their parents entrust their children to them. “I have their best interest at heart. Most of the youth may not have a father figure or someone to talk to or lean on. Sometimes we have to be a mentor or father figure to support the single mothers or youth who just need someone to help guide them.”
Having one girl on the team who is playing in her first team sport has taught the coach and the players a few things. McLamore says the experience was very trying in the beginning as this was his first experience coaching a girl, but adjustments were made. “
Teaching organized football to Haylee was essential because she began playing in the streets,” McLamore said. “This year of coaching became a good experience for me and the players. We became a family and learned how to work together. The players became brothers and sisters even faith wise. We pray before every game and instill that all things are possible through Christ. We have a large prayer circle and include everyone. Haylee was a blessing to us.”
The Rochester Rams Organization is a family environment. Team parents support the leadership by supporting the players and their families as well. Some parents of the players are known to pay fees for other players, along with helping out with travel and fundraising. Support is continually needed for equipment, uniforms, cleats and more. Individuals or organizations can sponsor the team or a few players.
For youth interested in football or cheer and dance or for more information contact the organizers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit fb.com/rochester.rams.7