Summit Snow Tigers youth football needs players, institutes new safety standards | SummitDaily.com

Summit Snow Tigers youth football needs players, institutes new safety standards

The Summit County Snow Tigers youth football program will commence practice next Monday undertaking new USA Football safety standards and coaching certifications.

This autumn will be McCahn Rawson's first as the director of the Snow Tigers program, which annually fields two teams: one for local second- and third-grade students and one for fourth- and fifth-grade students. Players are typically between the ages of 7 and 10 years old.

A week out from the start of practice, Rawson said sign-up numbers for the Snow Tigers program are low. For the younger team, Rawson said five children had signed up as of Monday afternoon while eight had signed up for the older team.

Rawson, who served as an assistant coach last year with the program, added that each Snow Tigers team desires to have at least 14 players, with 20 serving as a more ideal number.

As a member of the national USA Football program, Rawson emphasized that the Snow Tigers this year are expanding not only their standardized training for coaches but also their available sports medicine.

For the first time Axis Sports Medicine will be on the sideline for home games.

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"If there is an incident, there will be someone there right away," Rawson said.

Rawson also said Snow Tigers coaches will focus on tackling safety as much as possible.

"The training that we are using to teach the kids is to keep the head out of play," Rawson said.

As part of its membership with USA Football, Rawson said Snow Tigers coaches will employ specific standardized drills that emphasize safe fundamental techniques. Practices this season will also be limited to 30 minutes of full-contact for a total of 90 minutes of full-contact hitting per week.

As for their certified training, all Snow Tigers coaches will be versed in USA Football safety standards concussion protocol, injury management, sudden-heart failure and heat exhaustion. The program is also still looking to add one more assistant coach for the fourth- and fifth-grade team.

No prior football experience is necessary to join the Snow Tigers,, as coach's will teach the basics of tackling and playing the game. The cost for the season per-player is $150, with all equipment, except for cleats, provided. The teams will each play in four-team leagues, twice taking on Kremmling, Granby and Fairplay — once at home and once on the road. Beginning Aug. 27, practices will take place weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 5:30–7 p.m., at Summit Middle School.

For more information, go to SnowTigersFootball.com.