GONZALES — Bill Boeneke adjusted the chin strap for one of his Ascension Bulldogs C Team football players on Saturday as the team waited in the end zone for a chance to warm up.
Boeneke, the president of the newly formed Ascension Bulldogs Youth Sports Organization, has been working for almost a year to form the new sports club, which includes football teams, cheerleaders and baseball teams.
“I’ve been asked about adding basketball, but I don’t know much about basketball,” Boeneke said.
Boeneke’s three football teams, with players ages 5 to 12, were competing Saturday against the Ascension Cougars.
Action on the field in the first game of the day, which featured the older A Team players, wasn’t going well for the Bulldogs.
Fumbles, penalties and a experienced Ascension Cougars team kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone in the first half.
Boeneke thanked the coach of the Cougars A Team, Leon Blouin, for helping him start his new team.
“I’ve asked him a lot of questions since we got started … and he encouraged me all the way,” Boeneke said.
The Bulldogs and Cougars play in the Tri-Parish Youth Football League
Boeneke said he started the Bulldogs team to give more children an opportunity to play football.
As a former coach in another youth league, Boeneke said he got tired of seeing so many youngsters “just standing around on the sidelines and never getting to play.”
So, the Bulldogs are limiting team rosters to 25 this season.
However, he said, it was hard to fill those roosters before the season started because so many families didn’t know they existed.
Boeneke said while some of his players have experience on other teams, this is the first season for everyone playing as a unit. Coaches on each of the three teams, he said, will stress fundamentals and team unity.
He said the Bulldogs will stress the “every player counts” motto.