Parkville Youth Organization’s award ceremony another success

January 8, 2016 Jaime DeJesus
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Young football players of the Parkville Youth Organization (PYO) marked the conclusion of another successful season in style.

On the morning of Sunday, December 20 at the Dyker Heights Golf Course, 1030 86th Street, players, coaches, elected officials and family celebrated the league’s annual award ceremony, where trophies were handed out to each kid that participated. Bigger awards were also distributed.

“Everybody who participates in any programs receive a participation trophy. Then each team is given what we called special trophies,” said Parkville Executive Director of Public Relations Robert Cavaliere.

Those special awards include best player at their respective position, most valuable player and coach’s award. Medals are also distributed to players who participated in the Parkville all-star game.

“Then we have special awards, including the Memorial Award given to boys who showed extraordinary quality,” he said. “That didn’t mean they were the best or caught the most touchdown passes. It means players who got on field and handled themselves in a very respectful manner to players on their team or opposing ones, officials and coaches.”

Before the players took to the field, many members of Parkville were nervous that a drop in participation would ruin the year. “At the beginning of the season, we were on pins and needles wondering if we were having a program,” Cavaliere said.

“Participation in all sports has declined,” he noted. “However, we got the numbers, not the ones we wanted, but ones to work with. We pulled it off. Parents were superb and supportive. It was a great year. The kids played their hearts out and most of them were pretty good games.”

One of the season’s successful aspects was the return of the pee-wee division. “We were skeptical we’d have it this year but enough kids signed up,” Cavaliere said.

The actual awards ceremony was a big success, Cavaliere said. “The kids had a blast. For the first time I can remember in 25 years, I didn’t have to go after kids to keep quiet. They were so respectful and had a fantastic time,” he said.

In attendance were high school football coaches from Fort Hamilton High School and Xaverian. During the ceremony, the Xaverian coaches invited the seventh and eighth grade kids to their coaching clinic. “They all talked about how important it is to get good grades,” he said.

Although some people may be unhappy with the group’s choice to give every player an award, Cavaliere said it is beneficial. “Some people say the participation trophies don’t mean anything and they should earn trophies but these kids work hard all year. To get a trophy means a lot to them,” he said.

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