Lions set to kick off 50th season

By Steve Smith, Staff Writer

The Cromwell Lions have opened training camp on its 50th year of youth football.

Cromwell Lions Youth Football and Cheer President Heather Cook said the teams have some big celebrations planned, as part of its golden anniversary, including a bonfire event at its game on Sept. 5, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m

There will also be a celebratory Homecoming Game on Oct. 17, which will include Cromwell Mayor Enzo Faienza. The Lions have also invited past coaches to come to the event and address the players. There will also be a bonfire at the Homecoming, as well as a DJ and player and coach introductions at the ceremony.

“We’re just opening it up to the whole entire town,” Cook said. “We’ll have the concession stand open, and have raffles of 50th Anniversary T-shirts.”

Former players and cheerleaders will be brining jerseys and uniforms from as far back as the 1970’s (and maybe earlier) for the current players to see.

Several former players and families have already been posting nostalgic photos on the Lions’ Facebook page.

“We’re just kind of opening it up for the whole entire town to come down and be part of the fun experience,” Cook said.

This year’s teams are getting ready for the season, with approximately 80 players and cheerleaders reporting to training camp. The Lions will accept more players through the end of August.

Cook said there are a lot of new players on the D (6-7-year-olds) squad, which is a good sign for the Lions’ future. The C-squad made it to the playoffs last year, and could repeat, team officials said.

The players will look great in their new 50th Anniversary helmets and jerseys. They will also be safe, as the coaches have all become Heads Up certified, and have learned new, safer tackling techniques, as well as concussion awareness.

“Our coaches have gone through more clinics this summer, to renew their certification, and we’re really concentrating on safety, and educating our parents when it comes to concussion safety.”

That education includes tutorial videos from USA Football, as well as a concussion fact sheet. “It’s so the y really know what the signs are of a real concussion,” Cook said, “instead of the self-diagnosing that a lot of parents do.”

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