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Hill Side Raiders

History

What Happens When a Community Works Together!

In 2002, a group of parents, grandparents, and community members decided to leave the larger OakGrove Youth Football organization and build their own football and cheer program that would provide an organized after school program that emphasizes respect for other ethnicities, working together as a team, physical conditioning, mentoring, and volunteer activities, while focusing on scholastic achievement. From that, the Andrew Hill Raiders Youth Football Program, a program that allows children between the ages of 5 and 13 and who maintain a 2.0 GPA and/or receive their school’s permission to participate in a tackle football and cheer program, was born. 

This program has grown from a small Division III program struggling to recruit 16 players per team to a Division II program with full teams, serving close to 300 participants and competing for a National Championship in its 14 year existence.

An important aspect of this program is that children are around positive role models and their friends, as they learn, get in shape, and unify as a team. The most important aspect of this program is that the children learn and have fun. They are taught responsibility, respect, how to work hard, and lessons about life, as coaches use the game of football as a teaching tool. Due to the strict ties to scholastics, many participants in the program go on to play high school football, become positive leaders in school, and as they get older, remember to give back to their community, as they saw so many unpaid volunteers give their time and commitment for them.

With a focus on hard work and respect for others, success on the field is sure to follow. This was evident in the Raider’s first year of existence, as the Pee Wee team won the Division III Division Championship and the Midget team won the Division III Regional Co-Championship.