The Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL) held its 15th annual Super Bowl Games on Sunday, December 2, at Pioneer High School in Whittier, CA.
While Super Bowl Games and their outcome are important, the SYFL focuses on the efforts of their football players and cheerleaders on and off the field. The league took time to honor the SYFL Champions of 2018 in addition to a special presentation that honored their high-achieving student-athletes. The presentation included giving away prizes and awarding some players with jerseys based upon their SYFL careers on and off the field.
According to Dedrian “Dee Dee” Small-Hayes, SYFL executive board member and scholastic director, the league’s emphasis are on the student’s scholastic component; there is a high percentage of SYFL athletes who have at least a 3.0 GPA or higher, as well as a special elite group who maintain a 4.0.
“As the league expands, the [GPA] numbers increase, highlighting the SYFL’s scholastic goals,” said Small-Hayes. “All players and cheerleaders who maintained a 4.0 on their last calendar school year report card are recognized.”
Small-Hayes says it’s a blessing that there are a high percentage of kids in the SYFL who maintain a GPA of 3.0 and above during the calendar school year, prior to the start of the season. The numbers are so impressive, that the league can’t honor all the students.
“As we would love to recognize everyone, it’s just not feasible. This year, the names of the kids with a 3.0-3.9 GPA are entered into a database for drawing. Once selected, the child receives a special invite to the Scholastic All-Star presentation.”
Baldwin Hills’ Jr. Peewee team won their organization’s third SYFL Championship against a tough Long Beach Patriots team. “I couldn’t be more proud of how this Baldwin Hills team, staff, and parents stepped up to the challenge of Jr. Peewee division that was competitive all year,” said Baldwin head coach, Robert Lockhart.
Capping off the Super Bowl win for Baldwin Hills Youth Football, running back/linebacker Jayshawn Edwards (6) was honored by the league for accomplishing a 4.0 GPA. “I’m really happy about the progression of the league. Our job as coaches is to develop well-rounded student-athletes and young men. Jayshawn Edwards is an example of what Baldwin Hills Football and the SYFL league is building,” said coach Lockhart.
“We have contributed to the advancement of countless young men and women in our 60 years and appreciate the SYFL in helping Baldwin Hills continue to serve the community through football, cheer, and a strong focus on academics,” said Baldwin Hills football president, Valerie Saulsberry.
SYFL players Jovone Brown, Makyi Douglas, Maceo Adams, Daylen Austin, Aerion Richardson, Romeo Clark, and other student-athletes were honored with their framed jerseys for their long tenure in the SYFL League, as they prepare for high school. The three shared their thoughts.
“This award is for my five years of playing with the SYFL and leaving to go to high school,” said Brown. “I feel like I will be a Snoop League legend. To Snoop and my coaches, keep doing what you do. And thank you to my parents for helping me accomplish my goals,” said Adams.
“I learned that I can do anything I want. I learned from my mistakes on the field. Thanks to Snoop, my coaches and my parents for helping me succeed,” said Mayki.
Student athletes Huron Jackson, Raki “Tank” Davis, Da’Kharrie Jefferson Daylen Austin, Jaylen Patterson, Jermaine Spears, and others were acknowledged for achieving outstanding academic excellence and for their longstanding participation in the league.
“School always comes first, then football. My parents and coaches are always saying, ‘Student-athletes, student-athletes, not athletes-student. I love football, so my grades are important, “ said Raki “Tank” Davy of the High Desert Saints Jr. Peewees, who was awarded by the SYFL for achieving a 4.0 GPA.
Huron was awarded for historically maintaining a 4.0 GPA during his SYFL career, and being in the league throughout his SYFL career. “I plan on attending a top college and becoming an NFL player, “ he said.
Cheerleaders Nylah Patrick, Kris Walker, Shari Spears, Justyce Smith, Alina Lester, Makiya Belisle, Sky Owens, and Cherysh Henley and other cheerleaders were honored for their academic and personal accomplishments.
According to Small-Hayes, she has served as scholastic director for the league for over 10 years. “My passion supersedes the life-challenges that our student athletes face off the field and in the classroom,” she said.