It’s football season and the newly renamed Turlock Hornets are busy training the sport’s youngest players.
Formerly known as the Jr. Pride just a season ago, the Turlock Hornets are back in action with a whole new board and new philosophy, according to Booster Coordinator Randy Beavers.
The league’s name change came about due to a similarly named team associated with the other youth football association in town.
When the Turlock Youth Football renamed their two teams to the Bulldogs and Pride, things became a little complicated last fall with the two youth programs of nearly identical names in the same town.
“…[it] caused a lot of issues during signups,” said Beavers. “Like a lot of kids trying to sign for us, signed for them and vice versa, so we figured we would have one Pride, one Bulldogs and one Hornets.”
There are a total of 130 kids playing for the Turlock Hornets, in all five levels that consist of Varsity, Junior Varsity, Rookies, Starts and Futures.
The governing coach is John Coelho. Head coaches include Dave Fernandes (Varsity), Mauro Lozano (JV), Shane Sequeira (Rookies), Jerry Ragsale (Starts), and Vincent Rodriguez (Futures).
The Hornets will compete in the Central Valley Gridiron Youth Football League along with Lodi, El Capitan, Ceres and Salida.
Beavers said the league’s new philosophy is every kid plays, despite their athletic ability
“[The Hornets are] not as cutthroat, more fun, very competitive but we will make all these kids better athletes by playing them instead of just riding the bench all game, more of an opportunity,” he said.
The Hornets are scheduled to play their home games at Joe Debely Stadium on the campus of Turlock High School, with the possibility of playing at Delhi High for some of the other home games.
The first game for the Hornets will be on the road against the Lodi Flames at a time yet to be determined, Aug. 25.
“Our expectations are to grow as an organization and make sure our kids have fun; we also want to win, everyone wants to win,” Beavers added.