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Comeback trail for Outlaws youth program

Posted: August 10, 2013 9:40 p.m.
Updated: August 10, 2013 9:40 p.m.

A team for the Canyon Country Outlaws is shown lining up before a play. Photo coutesy of Canyon Country Outlaws

 

The Canyon Country Outlaws are in the process of rebranding.

After the youth football program went through a rough patch that saw it lose membership and reputation a few years back, first-year program president Joe Estanol says Outlaws are making a comeback.

“We’re rebuilding our brand and reputation in our community,” Estanol said. “We’re moving forward and I believe we’re building a better organization for the future."

That rebuilding process includes several aspects.

For one, the Outlaws are putting emphasis on training coaches to properly demonstrate ideal tackling and safety tehcniques. The training is done through USA Football, which is an organization endowed by the National Football League.

That training focuses on safety and fostering a positive environment on the field.

“We want to win. We want to win games and go to Super Bowls,” Estanol said. “However, we don’t want to do it at all costs. We want to make it a fun environment for kids. We want them to learn.”

The Outlaws, which is the second oldest youth football program in the Santa Clarita Valley, has about 180 kids playing on eight teams at various age groups.

Those numbers are continuing to grow, Estanol said.

Another change the program has made is creating a new website, canyonoutlaws.com, which was launched in March with the intention of showcasing the kids and making it user friendly for parents.

Estanol also said the program is reaching out to a long-standing rival, the Santa Clarita Valley Athletic Association Warriors.

Though the competitive rivalry between the two oldest programs in town will always be alive, Estanol said, the Outlaws are trying to put the two programs on good terms.

Both programs compete within the Pacific Youth Football League.

While the Warriors are the oldest program in town at 47 years old, the Outlaws are nearly 20 years old after being established in the mid-1990s.

Over the years, Canyon Country has experienced plenty of success and won Super Bowls in that league and it is working toward that high level of play again.

Certain teams within the Outlaws program are learning how to run the Canyon High School offense and defense to help kids in the program get prepared for high school.

Canyon High football head coach Rich Gutierrez has also helped some of the Outlaws coaches to try to create symmetry.

All that, along with a lot of new faces on the Outlaws’ board of directors, has the program filled with optimism headed into the 2013 season.

"I believe we have enthusiastic, passionate people supporting our program across our board, membership and families," Estanol said.

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