The city provides youth recreational sports programs but, when young athletes want to move into more competitive programs, they turn to the Englewood Youth Sports Association.
The Englewood Youth Sports Association began in 1995. It was a grass roots effort to retain a local youth tackle football program when the Englewood Parks and Recreation Department abolished its decade-old recreational-level tackle football program in favor of a flag football program.
A group of residents stepped forward and established the Englewood Youth Football Association, organized teams and entered the Jefferson County Midget Football Association for the first time.
A couple of years later, the all-volunteer organization changed its name to the Englewood Youth Sports Association and expanded to offer programs in other sports. Currently, the EYSA teams compete in boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball and football.
The association organizes and oversees programs in order to offer athletes from Englewood and surrounding areas the opportunity to take part in age-group competitive-level sports
“The EYSA provided great opportunities for my kids to experience competitive sports competition,” Englewood resident Juan Herrera said. “My two sons got bored with recreational baseball so we moves to EYSA and it was a great for them. The coaches were great and the kids’ baseball skills improved dramatically because they played against tough competition. They went on to play high school baseball at Thomas Jefferson and one boy, Jesus, may go on to junior college to play ball. A lot of their success goes to their years in EYSA.”
The youth association currently has two teams playing baseball, a team of sixth-graders and a team of eighth-graders.
The eighth-graders wrap up their regular season May 12 while the sixth-graders season continues to near the end of June. Both teams currently have winning records.
It is also girls softball season and the association has three teams in action, the Under 12, Under 14 and the Under 16.
The Under 14 and Under 16 teams started play the beginning of this month and the Under 12 team is scheduled to start soon.
The Pirates play teams from around the metro area and usually are in action until late June.
At the same time, the association is holding registration for its largest program, tackle football.
Debbie Penn, association volunteer, said 80 young athletes have already signed up and expect to have quite a few more kids register when they attend the annual fundamentals camp July 24-26 at the high school.
The goal is to have to enter seven teams in the Jefferson County Leagues this season and most teams have18 to 20 players on the roster. So far, the rosters are filling out well but there is still a need for seventh-graders to sign up for the Pirate team.
EYSA teams have had success in football. There have been teams that won league titles in the playoff culmination called the Carnation Bowl and last year, three teams qualified for the playoffs.
The cost to be part of the program is $230 for new players and $175 for returning players. Parents need to know that the association provides all the necessary equipment including helmets, all the pads and the uniforms. This one of the few programs that still provides equipment for its players.
An equipment fitting is scheduled in early June. For information about the program or dates, call 303-789-5391.
The association offers separate basketball programs for boys and girls. They usually have teams for sixth-graders, seventh-graders and eighth-graders. Registration for the program will be in November and games will begin in January 2013.