Masella: “Football gives players a high level of confidence that you don’t get from other sports.”
by Rhonda Massad
More than 4,000 young people between the ages of 5 to 13 years old have participated in the 55 years of football at Alexander Park Football in Pierrefonds. Over the years every level has been taught teamwork and respect for teammates and the opposition.
Head coach of Pierrefonds Hurricaines ages 10 and 11 years old, Michael Masella grew up playing baseball. So when his oldest son begged his mother to play after watching a game on television both parents were anxious for the same reasons most parents are with regards to football. Injuries. He has since changed his tune.
“We had the same concerns as other parents but once we played we were hooked,” Masella told The Suburban in an interview, ““We make sure to put the players in a situations where they are not likely to get hurt. Taking consideration of size and skill level.”
“At this level there is contact but the players are still small and the speed is not there,” he explained, “we are not making plays at 20 miles an hour like we see on TV. The children are often very close to each other so there is contact but not a lot of impact.”
Coaches are required to take safe contact courses put on by Football Canada as an integral part of their National Certification program. The course is incumbent on the organizers and coaches to teach young athletes how to play the game safely.
“We are taught safe tackling and blocking techniques along with safety education and awareness,” he explained. “We physically do the tackles ourselves to be able to show the players. It is a hands on experience.”
According to Masella practices start at Alexander Park June 9 while registration for this years season starting in August will take place until the end of July. Players from 5-7 years old play flag football, while the 8-13 year olds play tackle football.
“Though the registration is predominantly boys we have girls too,” Masella said. “The girls that do play are tougher than the boys. In my opinion, football gives players a high level of confidence that I don’t think you get from other sports.”
To register or for more information call Tel: 514-583-2213 or visit: www.alexanderparkfootball.com