There’s still time to play football, cheer this summer

football programs
Youth line up for drills and exercises at a Daytona Beach Buccaneers’ football clinic.


Football is still America’s top sport and Florida has a rich history of producing some of the best talent. 

Parents still looking for something their kids can do from now and even through the fall can sign their young ones up up for football and cheerleading. Several local programs still accepting players.

Within Daytona’s city limits, there are four youth football programs – the Daytona Beach Buccaneers, Daytona Cowboys, Daytona Dolphins and Volusia County Sharks. 

The Sharks are the new kids on the block and will compete in the Indian River Youth Football & Cheer League. 

“I’ve coached at the high school and semi-pro levels. I just saw a need for another program,” said Coach Dahryll Brown, president of the Sharks. 

“There are some good programs in town. I just want to get back to the basics and fundamentals of the game. Just teaching it the right way and not just be all about winning.’’ 

football programs
The Cowboys’ 12U Coach Will Bell addresses his team during a practice.

Camaradie, discipline 

There are still a lot of benefits to playing football and being a cheerleader. 

“Organized youth sports – both the football for the boys and girls – should bring these kids camaraderie, teamwork, discipline, brotherhood, sisterhood and build self-esteem. In the long run, it should help the community by bringing people together as productive members of society. It also keeps kids off the streets and off trouble,” commented Coach Anthony Lee, president of the Daytona Dolphins. 

The Dolphins compete in the Mid-Florida Football & Cheer Conference. 

football programs
The Daytona Beach Dolphins still has space available on all teams.

Concussions training 

With concussion concerns across the country some places are losing football programs at all levels, but locally and across the state football is still going strong. 

“Football is still strong, especially here locally in Daytona. Also, for the concussions there is a lot of training. All coaches have to go through CDC (Centers for Disease Control) training,” expressed Lester “L.J.” Jones, head coach and commissioner of the Daytona Beach Cowboys.

The Cowboys also compete in the Mid-Florida Football & Cheer Conference.

There are also equipment improvements to deal with concussions.

Lee noted, “We’re still getting kids. There is a lot of training for coaches on how to look for concussions now. Coaches also must get qualifications on concussion training. Our program has new concussion protocol helmets too,” stated Lee.  

Too many teams? 

With four programs in Daytona, two in Ormond Beach (Sandcrabs/Pop Warner and Pride/unlimited weight), one in Port Orange (Hawks/Pop Warner) as well as one in New Smyrna Beach (Cudas), there could be an argument that there are too many teams.

Another argument could be made that Daytona can’t form a championship-caliber program due to talent being spread around. 

“I think it is too many programs in town. Some programs are not filling out teams in certain divisions. Also, some programs could field championship-caliber teams if, the kids were all together in one age group with a lot of talented kids,” said Jones. 

Brown differed. “We got kids from all over the county. We wanted to focus on the west side. We practice at Palm Terrace Elementary. I think it is enough kids for everybody,’’ he said. 

Offsetting the costs 

Costs of programs can be tricky but price ranges differ per program. 

Programs are finding ways to offshoot costs for those who can’t afford it and those who have multiple kids.

Lee stressed, “We have ways to offset costs. Our football fee is $100. We work with kids on the south side mainly. We find ways to help. Also, cheerleading is $225. We also help those who have multiple kids, especially moms with multiple daughters wanting to cheer.” 

In addition, all football programs are unlimited weight now, including Pop Warner who traditionally had weight limit requirements for age groups. 

Daytona Beach Buccaneers

Official name: Daytona Beach Pop Warner Football and Cheer Association/ Daytona Beach Bucs Football & Cheer

Leadership: Commissioner Tommy Roland

League/conference: Pop Warner/East Coast Conference

Weight: The team has unlimited weight limits on all teams except for the oldest age group.

Space available: Yes on Pewee, Junior Varsity and unlimited weight teams. 

Cost: $175 

Ages: 5 to 14

Team breakdown: Tiny Mites (ages 5, 6, 7); Mitey Mites (ages 7, 8, 9); 10U; 12U); 14U

Cheerleading: Yes

Practice location/home field: Derbyshire Sports Complex

Contact: 386-852-2552 or; @DaytonaBeachBucs on Facebook 

Daytona Cowboys

Official name: Daytona Beach Cowboys Youth Football & Cheer 

Creators/leadership: Commissioner/President Peggy Cortez; Commissioner Lester “L.J.” Jones; Athletic Director, Shaheem Rain ge

League/conference: Mid-Florida Youth Football & Cheer Conference

Weight: Unlimited weight

Space available: Some teams 

Cost: $175 football, $175 cheerleading

Ages: 4 to 15

Team Breakdown: 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U

Cheerleading: Yes

Practice location/home field: Old YMCA near Derbyshire Sports Complex

Contact: Peggy Cortez 386-8438281 

Daytona Beach Dolphins

Official name: Daytona Beach Youth Sports/Daytona Beach Youth Dolphins Football & Cheer

Creators/leadership: Owner/ President Anthony Lee; President Paulette Smith

League/conference: Mid-Florida Youth Football & Cheer Conference

Weight: Unlimited

Space available: Yes on all teams; cheerleading needed and volunteer coaches

Cost: $100 football, $225 cheerleading $80

Ages: 4 to 15

Team breakdown: 6U (flag football), 8U, 10U, 12U, 15U 

Cheerleading: Yes

Practice location/home field: Campbell Middle School

Contact: 386-481-4085;; 

Volusia County Sharks 

Official name: Volusia County Sharks Youth Football & Cheer

Leadership: Dahryll Brown President & Commissioner

Weight: Unlimited

League/conference: Indian River Youth Football & Cheer Conference

Space available: Yes

Costs: $175 football, $200 cheerleading

Ages: 4-14 

Team breakdown: 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U 

Cheerleading: Yes

Practice location/home field: Palm Terrace Elementary (practice) Atlantic High (games)

Contact: Dahryll Brown at 386233-5724;


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