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The City Journals

Pirates raise money for youth football season

May 09, 2019 02:07PM ● By Greg James

A golf tournament scheduled for May 18 will help raise money for the Pirates little league football. (Photo courtesy of Cyprus football)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

Football can be an expensive sport. Cyprus league president, Russ Peterson, is set on making it affordable.

“We have a large family and it is impossible for us to fit football into our budget,” said Kim Richards, a mother of 12 kids. “We just couldn't let our kids play until they got older and could earn the money themselves.”

Peterson and board members of Cyprus Youth Football are organizing ways to make it so parents like Richards can allow their kids to play no matter what.

Its 10th  annual golf fundraiser will help curb the enormous cost for families.

“We are using this fundraiser to help us with equipment and make sure no kid is left out of playing,” Peterson said. “We want to keep the cost of registration down for the parents. We have done this stuff for 10 years now.”

The tournament is scheduled to be held Saturday, May 18, at the Magna Copper Club Golf Course (8975 W. 2600 South) Approximately 120 golfers will converge on the course that day to support the kids. They charge $60 per player and it includes 18-hole play, a cart, T-shirt and lunch. 

“It fills up pretty quick and we will have another 40 to 50 that just come down, have lunch and buy some raffle tickets,” Peterson said.

To celebrate 10 years of the golf tournament and fundraiser they are also offering a barbecue steak dinner with Sizzler donating 100 steaks for the party. The board has assembled several raffle prizes which include a 56-inch TV, Salt Lake Bees tickets and golf bags.

The league usually supports 235-260 players ages 7-15 each fall.

“I thought our league was growing, but we dropped about 25 kids last season. Some of it is because kids are playing other sports. It takes a big part of each of these kids’ lives,” Peterson said.

They have planned other fundraisers throughout the season to help the program. On Aug. 10 they have scheduled their one day car wash at Game Gear in West Valley (7095 W. 3500 South) and the annual support game will be played to begin the season.

Cyprus High School has a new football head coach this season, Tyler Garcia. He has pledged to become an important part of the youth program. 

“I have known Tyler since he was 10 or 11 years old. He is from the Magna area. We are going to be on the same page,” Peterson said. “We do not force our coaches to teach a certain way, but we recommend it so that the kids learn the same stuff growing up. It helps them know what to expect when they get to the high school program.” 

Cyprus finished last season 7-2 and lost in the first round of the state playoffs 35-7 to Fremont. They have qualified for the state tournament in three of the last four seasons.

“Jed Smith (the former head coach) really got involved with our league. We had a good relationship. He encouraged kids that had the talent to come play at high school, but if they were not ready he wanted them to stay in the youth program. He also had his kids involved with the little league teams,” Peterson said.

The youth district has goals to keep kids involved in the community.

“We want the kids to relate with the high school team. Then on Friday nights at the game they can say I know that player and cheer them on, That will help us keep kids at Cyprus. I love the sport and have made friendships with guys that I still talk to today and I am 44 years old. It taught me to work as a team and has lots of life lessons,” Peterson said.