Kids benefit from being around high school coaches, players


By Staff Reports

Sobrato head football coach Jubenal Rodriguez and defensive coordinator/JV head coach Adrian Alcantara have stepped up in a big way, said Jeff Dixon, organizer of the South Valley Flag Football League.

The two coaches, who began working as league referees a decade ago, wanted to get their football team to help out the kids, ages 4 to 14. As the season got underway a few weeks ago, Rodriguez reached out to Dixon, offering to help.

Dixon said it’s beneficial for the kids in the SVFFL as they get to see and be around high school players and learn from the coaches.

“It’s only been a few weeks but we can already see bonds forming between the Sobrato players and our SVFFL players,” Dixon said. “It’s really cool.”

Two of the Sobrato team are learning to officiate, four are coaching a team, and one does both (Aiden Butler) coaches 6-7 years old and referees ages 8 through 11, Dixon said.

Rodriguez said it’s important for the Sobrato team to be out in the community mentoring our youth.

“Not only will this partnership create great experiences for our student-athletes, but it will give our student-athletes an opportunity to mentor the youth of Morgan Hill by teaching the values that come with participating in football,” he said.

Alcantara said that without football his life may have been different.

“What I get out of this partnership is the ability to give back to a community that has done so much for me and to continue to develop adolescent athletes into outstanding individuals as young adults,” he said. “For some people, sports are more than just a game played between the lines.”

The two coaches are busy, practicing Monday through Thursday, then playing a game Friday, and Sundays they are out there volunteering.

“And they choose to do it,” Dixon said. “ Everyone is a volunteer.”

Dixon said it’s great to see the high school players out helping the younger kids.

Two of the Sobrato team are learning to officiate, four are coaching a team, and one does both (Aiden Butler) coaches 6-7 years old and referees ages 8 through 11.

“What every volunteer organization is looking for is the next generation to step up and that’s what makes Morgan Hill special,” Dixon said. “It’s a real gem.”

The South Valley Flag Football League is eight weeks, played Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Outdoor Sports Center on Condit Road.

“This is a grassroots league,” Dixon said. “It’s a very organic, positive partnership.”

Robert Airoldi