Lincoln Park Football & Cheer Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: When does the season start?
A: Registration opens in April of each year. We start our voluntary summer workouts as soon as school ends in June. Equipment handouts are several dates throughout the summer.
● First week of August, there is a voluntary youth camp held by the Wilson High School football coaches and players. L.P. does NOT handle registrations or scheduling for this.
● The first week of practice is generally the second Monday of August Monday-Friday 5:30PM – 7:30PM.
● Team picture day (football and cheer) is generally that Saturday morning. Sometimes, we host a football scrimmage that day as well.
● The third week of August is practice Monday-Thursday. Berks Brawl is always that Saturday with a rain date on Sunday.
● The first game weekend is generally the weekend BEFORE Labor Day. The season then goes until the end of October (early November if team makes playoffs).
Q: What are the different team levels and ages?
A: Mighty Mites are 2nd & 3rd grades (cannot turn 10 before 12/31). Mites are 4th & 5th grades (cannot turn 12 before 12/31), and Midgets are 6th & 7th grades (cannot turn 14 before 12/31). If any of those age cut offs are met, they must move up a level.
Q: What’s the Berks Brawl?
A: The Berks Brawl is an all-day event hosted by us at Wilson Southern. It is a volunteer REQUIREMENT for parents (or a family member) to assist that day. We host usually anywhere between 75-80 youth football teams with an attendance of several thousand players, coaches, and spectators throughout the day. It usually runs from 7AM – 5PM. Your child will not need to be there all day. Each team gets two 50-minute scrimmages. It is our biggest fundraiser for the program, so all hands are needed to help pull it off each year.
Q: When are practices and games all season?
A: The preseason practices schedule is listed above. Once school starts, practice goes to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 5:30PM-7:30PM. A day may change here and there based off weather or other school functions. Practices are mandatory. Games are Saturdays and Sundays. Each level (mighty mite, mite, and midgets) will have a Saturday and Sunday team. Saturday teams are usually for the newer or less experienced players. Sunday games are for the more experienced players and are highly competitive. Depending on numbers and positional needs, coaches may ask players from the Saturday team to dress on Sunday, or there may be some players who play in both games each weekend. The general game times are (subject to change based on the home team):
Saturdays – M.M. 9AM, Mites 10:15AM, Midgets 11:45AM.
Sundays – M.M. 12:30PM, Mites 1:45PM, Midgets 3:15PM.
Football coaches usually ask that players arrive an hour before the game to warm up. Cheer report time is usually 30 minutes prior to game time.
Cheer will participate in all Sunday games during the season and some Saturday games.
Q: What are the playoffs and who makes it?
A: There are no league playoffs for mighty mites. At mites and midgets, the top 4 teams make the playoffs. There are 11 teams in our league, all of whom are generally very good, so it’s tough to get a playoff spot.
Q: Do we practice in the rain? What about illness, injury, appointments, or school functions?
A: We practice in the rain. Unless it’s a hurricane or lightning, we will practice. Keep tabs on your TeamSnap app and team communications for updates. If your child is sick, keep them home, it will not affect playing time. All our coaches are trained in concussion protocols. However, we are not athletic trainers or doctors. In cases of injury, we will default to the parents and your family doctor. If there’s another commitment, just let your coach know and it will not be counted against your child. However, unexcused absences or continued misses will affect playing time.
Q: What’s the method of communication for the season?
A: We utilize the TeamSnap app. It works great. You’ll get team chat messages, alerts, and emails directly from it. We also utilize Facebook. Once you register for your team, you will get an invite to join the team. Then you just download the free app and go from there.
Q: What are the volunteer requirements?
A: Because the Berks Brawl is such a large event, we require a family member volunteer for a 2-hour time slot(s) during it. After that, there are an additional three 1-hour slots required for our home games during the season. In total, it’s 5 hours (minimum requirement). We cannot survive without our volunteers. Coaches are on the field during games and that only leaves a couple board members left to do everything. Volunteer spots range from sideline chains during games, concession stand, game day set up / clean up, running the game clock for games etc. We email out the sign-up links for the brawl and homes game(s) early each week for everyone.
If you cannot make the Berks Brawl to volunteer, we require a total of 6 hours of during the season of home games.
Q: How much does it cost to play football and to cheer? Can I recoup any of that money? Is financial aid available?
A: We have an early bird registration which is posted on our website and Facebook pages. The breakdown for the fees is:
Football Registration (early bird price listed first) - $90 / $105 (1st child), $78 / $90 (2nd child), and $70 / $80 (3rd child or more).
Cheer Registration (early bird listed first) - $105 / $120 (1st child), $93 / $105 (2nd child), and $85 / $95 (3rd child or more).
Volunteer / Equipment Fee - $75 (will be fully refunded upon completing ALL volunteer requirements and returning ALL equipment after the season). If equipment is altered in any way from original issue, refund will not be provided. “Altered” means missing items, white game pants stained pink, eaten by pets, pads cut out, etc.
Fundraising Fee - $100. This can also be fully recouped. We hand out a set of 10 raffle tickets for each family to sell. About mid-season, there a raffle winners announced. However, many tickets you sell, you keep that money.
Football Jersey Fee (built into registration price) - will vary depending on vendor. It will have their name on the back of it. This is mandatory, but we have “loaner” jerseys we can hand out then get back after the season. There is also a set deadline for the jersey order. If you miss it, you cannot order a custom jersey and will use a loaner.
Cheer Uniform Fee (built into registration price) - will vary depending on vendor. This is mandatory and can be kept. We will have loaners available that must be returned at the end of the season. There is a set deadline to order uniforms, if you miss it, you cannot order one to keep and must use a loaner.
Financial assistance is available in certain circumstances. We never want to turn any child away from being able to participate in cheer or football. Please contact the board if you’re in need.
Q: When do the game schedules come out?
A: The football game schedules are determined by the league. The Sunday team schedule is usually out by early July. The Saturday team schedule(s) are trickier. Each organization is required to field a Sunday team first. Depending on how many players you have, some teams will have no Saturday team, and others may have up to two. Until registration numbers get more finalized per organization, most teams don’t know exactly how many players and teams they will have at each level. So, the Saturday team(s) schedule isn’t usually out until mid-August. As soon as all schedules are released by the league, your team’s head coach will have it posted immediately.
Q: How is game playing time dictated?
A: Ideally, we have a Saturday (JV) and Sunday (varsity) team at each level. Per league rules, we’re required to fill a Sunday team first, then Saturday team(s). League rules require that each player play at least 6 plays per game. For most players, that will be substantially more. However, not every player will play the same number of plays throughout a game. Playing time is based on skill, positional needs, attendance, and understanding of the game by that player. In football, safety is a big concern. If a player is not physically ready to play a lot or has no concept of the schemes being used in the games, they will play less. Also, missing practice will count against playing time. Game reps are earned during the week in practice by the hard work and attentiveness of the players. If they are not participating, not working hard, or not paying attention, it will affect their playing time.
Q: When is equipment handed out and collected?
A: We will hold several equipment hand outs over the summer. We will NOT accommodate individual appointments to pick up or return equipment. You must be registered for football or cheer to pick up equipment. This takes generally about 20 minutes because we have to have them try on different sizes. For football, we will collect your child’s helmet and shoulder pads at their last game. The pants and jerseys must be returned at one of the scheduled dates. If ANY piece of issued equipment is not returned, destroyed, or altered from how it was issued, you will NOT be eligible for your equipment fee refund.
Q: Do we participate in the Spring Township Halloween Parade?
A: Each year, the Spring Township Lions Club puts on a Halloween parade. L.P. is NOT in charge of the parade. However, the kids may attend if they want. We will have several board members who will secure a spot in the marching line and coordinate the meet spot for the parade. Chaperones assistance will be needed. If we do not have enough parent assistance, we will not participate.
Q: Is there an end of year party for the players and cheerleaders?
A: For the past several years, L.P. has paid for a small banquet honoring only the 7th grade cheerleaders and football players since it’s their final year in the program. All other teams had parties at the discretion and self-funding of their individual teams. L.P. has not paid for those. The board has agreed to add a more casual end of the year party for players, cheerleaders, and a set number of guest(s) after the season. This party will have pizza, covered dishes (brought by families), and drinks. This will be for all 2nd-6th grade cheerleaders and players.
Q: When are the cheer competitions?
A: For competitions, all practices are mandatory to participate. Competitions are typically on weekends from mid-October until the second or third weekend in November.
Q: If we an issue that needs to be addressed during the season, who should I speak to?
A: Your first line contact for your son or daughter will be their individual team’s head coach. Please do not direct to an assistant coach, another team’s coach, or a board member until going through the head coach first. Should it not be handled completely at that level, please direct all cheer issues to the cheer coordinator, Gail Mundell. Any football or overall issues for the program, can be directed to the president, Steve Brock. Volunteer questions can be directed to Randi Carpenter. Contact info for all board members is on the website and will be sent out prior to the season as well.