Off of Trouble Creek Road at First Baptist Church’s athletic field on Tuesday and Thursday nights, the South Pasco Steelers youth football team is practicing and preparing for its 2013 season.
Coming off one of the team's best seasons to date, a 5-1 record in the Pee Wee division, the Steelers return a nucleus of the players and are looking to make some noise this spring in the Super Midget division (ages 9-11) of the Ultimate 8-man Football League (U8FL).
“We're very excited about this season,” South Pasco Steelers coach/athletic director Chris Housholder said. “We have some kids moving up to the super midget division, which have played together for awhile now. Biggest thing is providing these kids with structure and a direction with football.”
South Pasco heads into its fourth season and the program runs all year long, as the Steelers during the fall months also compete in the Tampa Bay Youth Football League (TBYFL). Housholder’s son, Josh, returns as the team’s leading offensive player, who scored more than 20 touchdowns between the spring and fall seasons.
Also part of the returning cast is Nick Marzicola (fullback/linebacker), Drew Villacana (quarterback), Jonah Bellamy (linebacker) and offensive linemen Justin Bethards and Garrett Bonzo. The Steelers, according to Housholder, play their games at Skyway Park (Tampa), Canal Park (Oldsmar) and Oscar Cooler Park (Lutz). South Pasco is the only team from Pasco that competes in the heavily competitive U8FL and TBYFL, which are both slated to have to as many as 20 teams in each league.
“The biggest challenges coaching youth football is teaching these kids that have never played football before and teaching them the proper fundamentals of the game,” Housholder said. “It’s awesome to watch them grow up and really develop as players. You’re teaching them everything from the ground up and that's why we're so big on fundamentals and technique.”
Registration is still open for the Steelers for ages 4 through 14. For information, go to their website at www.southpascosteelers.com.