Parker Youth, Inc. (PYL) is a non-profit, all volunteer youth sports organization dedicated to providing and developing quality youth athletic programs for the youth of the Parker community and surrounding areas.Parker Youth Incorporated of Parker, Co

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Welcome to the home of PARKER HAWKS Football!!  The Hawks Football program is the premier competitive tackle football club representing Parker and the surrounding areas of Franktown & Elizabeth.  The Hawks believe that youth football should build skill, confidence and a love of the game.  This happens when kids get to play the game at the right level.  The Hawks are proud to have pioneered the highest minimum play requirements in the area to ensure new and developing players have the best tackle football experience possible.  For newer players just learning the sport of tackle football, there is the CFC division. Players with a couple years of experience generally play in the AFC.  Players who have the most experience generally play in the NFC.   Our goal is to allow kids to participate against the appropriate level of competition while they learn the game.  This approach also enables the Hawks to maintain the highest level of competition in the state.  



HEADLINES  Subscribe to Parker Hawks Football RSS news feed.
Should I let my son or daughter play tackle football?
Hawk Families,   Has your son or daughter asked if they...
Doctors speak out against how concussions are portrayed in media
The Hawks are committed to player safety ( you can read here about...
  The Hawks believe that players have the best football experience by...
The Hawks, in conjunction with the Arapahoe Youth League, participate...
Games are on Saturdays and will usually begin the first weekend...
It is highly recommended that every player undergo and pass a physical...
Should I let my son or daughter play tackle football?

Hawk Families,


Has your son or daughter asked if they can play tackle football yet?  I have three boys that play in Hawks and they all love it. My oldest started at 8 my middle at 7 and the youngest started at 6. My wife who was scared to let our "baby" play, will tell you she LOVES watching her boys play football more than any other sport.  Ponderosa High School head coach Jaron Cohen felt led to write this letter for parents asking themselves, "should I let mey son or daughter play tackle football?"  Please read below -  a letter from a High School Football coach....


I Will Let My Sons Play Football

Jaron Cohen, Head Varsity Football Coach

Ponderosa High School, Parker, CO

    Recently, the sport of football has been under attack. It seems like every day there is another report of a player having been found to have CTE post-mortem, numbers declining rapidly amongst youth football, and players, both current and former, suggesting they are dealing with injuries from playing that impact their quality of life. I have several roles of which I am proud of: teacher, coach, husband, son, brother, uncle, and father. The one that takes priority over all is my children, specifically my two sons, Henry (age 5) and Leo (age 3). I believe that a parent’s primary role is to keep their kids safe and many arguments are being made that allowing one’s son to play football is akin to irresponsible parenting due to the inherent dangers of the sport. However, I believe that the media is NOT taking into account all the changes that have been made to make football safer.    

What I take issue with is the attacks on football that make the uneducated reader believe that there have been no significant changes with respect to player safety over the past decade. Recently, I read a journalist suggest a plan for making the game safer, and he didn’t take into account all the changes that have already been implemented that have made player safety the first priority. I have been around the sport as either a player or coach for the past 30 years, and can firmly state that our game is safer and will continue to become a sport that will thrive in the future. Everyone’s main concern is Traumatic Brain Injuries, and research is showing that the main culprit in these injuries are sub-concussive hits. Sub-concussive hits are the repeated blows that a player takes in practice, and these are the main concern of coaches. The tragedy of Tyler Sash dying at age 27 and found to have CTE and other younger athletes having CTE are a legitimate concern, but I think that many protocols are being put in place to hopefully lessen the risk of obtaining TBI through sub-concussive hits. Three major changes have occurred with respect to making football safer and something I will allow my sons to participate in if they choose to. I can only speak to what we do at Ponderosa, but I know that most coaches care most about player safety and have made modifications with respect to: Tackling Technique and Drills, Contact Time, and Coaches Education on Concussions.


When I first was introduced to the sport, in 1985, there was very little specific talk about “keeping your head out of the play”, however if you were to attend a Ponderosa practice, that is a phrase that is used repeatedly. The Seattle Seahawks have released a series of instructional tackling videos based on rugby technique which is based on using the shoulder and never striking with the head. There are also several new items on the market that use tackling rings, dummies, etc to practice tackling without having to make contact with another player. At Ponderosa, we do tackling drills in T shirts and shorts, trying to teach our players not to use their helmet. Players may get a false sense of bravado when equipped with a helmet, so in our spring activities we will practice tackling without equipment to try to build muscle memory of not using one’s head when making a tackle. When I first started coaching (2000), we did countless full contact drills to teach tackling, however that simply is not the case anymore. Drills such as the “Nutcracker” and “Bull in the Ring” (which I did as a Pop Warner player” are not used anymore.


In an effort to limit sub-concussive hits, the amount of contact time throughout a week is now restricted, either through state mandates or suggestions on best practices from organizations like USA Football. When I played, the first week of practice always was Two-A-Days, both sessions in full pads, which equated to approximately 5 hours of full contact practice a day. In Colorado, we are now only allowed to have a Two-A-Day in the following manner: First practice may be full equipment, however the second one may only be an hour long and the only equipment players may wear is helmets. When I got my first head coaching job, I took pride in taking the team to a preseason camp where we had 4-A-Days for 3 days, with 3 sessions in full pads, which equated to six hours of full contact practice. I now look back on that method as having value for team-building, conditioning, and toughness, however I would never run a day like that again with the new knowledge I have. During a season, most states have limits on total contact time during a week (example could be 90 minutes preseason, 75 minutes first half of season, 60 minutes last half of season). Coaches are learning ways to teach fundamentals and skills without having to continuously have their players in full contact situations, and it has proven to be a great way to keep players ready for the grind of a season. When I began coaching, there were very few days where we didn’t have players fully dressed and some form of “live” team session during the practice.


Coaches are now required in most states to pass a Concussion Module, that educates our staff on the signs, symptoms, and dangers of concussions. In Colorado, we must view the seminar by the NFHS and after watching, all our staff knows not only how to diagnose a suspected concussion, but the protocol for dealing with this injury. Perhaps the most important change is that coaches understand that a concussion is not a “you got your bell rung” and to “shake it off”, but a brain injury that needs to be addressed immediately. The mantra of this seminar, and one that is used by our staff, is “When in Doubt, Sit Them Out”. Coaches no longer question a player’s toughness if he says he took a blow to the head, but immediately pull the player from the contest and have the Athletic Trainer and appropriate medical personnel evaluate the player. Also, coaches are very intentional with letting players know that any symptoms of a concussion need to be relayed to the staff or Athletic Trainer immediately, and that reporting the symptoms is a badge of honor, not trying to play through it. Our staff has a team meeting in which we are very clear to players on the symptoms of concussions and the necessity to let us know if any symptoms are present. Our players know that a concussion is a serious injury and they will not be disparaged if they report one, no matter the game situation. This is perhaps the biggest change from when I first was playing- that players know they are not showing weakness if taking themselves out of a practice or contest, but rather making the right decision.

These reasons are the player safety changes that are being implemented all across the country. I encourage all parents who are hesitant to let their son play to find out if the coaching staff conducts their program in accordance with these guidelines. Coaches are taking the lead in making football safer, and as a parent first and foremost, I will let my sons play if they desire.



by posted 03/04/2016
Doctors speak out against how concussions are portrayed in media

The Hawks are committed to player safety ( you can read here about our training programs for coaches and players that are linked to a 76% reduction in injuries ).  There are a couple of new articles where doctors speak out about the misperception of the risk of injury, specifically concussions that we wanted to share.  There is also a link below to the real rates of injuries in youth football.


Some key points from the articles:


The public discussion about youth athletics and concussions generally focuses more on fear than facts


And it is causing parents to pull their children out of sports, which doctors say is “more harmful to kids long-term than a concussion."




According to Crawford’s report, experts say one of the main reasons for the decline is the fear of concussions, fueled by assumptions portrayed as scientific data.


But doctors are pushing back.


Read the complete articles here:

CBS News Article

USA Football Article - doctors-speak-out-against-how-concussions-are-portrayed-in-media


You can also read the results of the first multi-year study of youth football athletes (not Pro or major college) and the real rate of injuries found by tracking thousands of youth players over multiple seasons.


The Hawks believe in the value of youth sports in teaching life lessons, molding character and preparing our athletes for high school sports.  We hope that sharing this information will help you as parents make informed decisions for your children to participate in and benefit from youth sports!




by posted 06/27/2015

The Hawks believe that players have the best football experience by playing against the appropriate level of competition. We compete in a league that typically fields 3 divisions of play.  The are designated by the titles of CFC, AFC & NFC.   We  attempt to balance teams by size and for competitive balance in their division. We may need to place players based on their skill level and the size of the team to provide the best football experience for all players. This means to maintain the best experience for all of the players in our community, we may not be able to accommodate each individual team or teammate request.

Our goal is for players to participate at the appropriate level, while understanding that the league itself is a competitive league.  We believe this provides a better experience and produces teams that work well together and and the result is they become a successful team.  Sometimes this may happen quickly and other times it may be more of a journey.  


Important Notice Regarding Team Placement

1. Although the Hawks collect coach and teammate requests we will not guarantee placement of players on any team.  You will be placed where your child has the best opportunity to play.
2. PYS cannot guarantee practice day/time or location

Please be aware that teams practice at various times and locations based on the availability of practice fields. Unfortunately, we can not guarantee practice times or days. 

Before you register your child, it is important to note that due to the possibility of inclement weather, available fields & officials, canceled games are scheduled on Sundays. Also, there is a real chance that playoff games & Super Bowls being played on Sundays. All participants must understand & accept this possibility before registering to participate in HAWKS football and the Arapahoe Youth League.

Equipment can be purchased at any sporting goods store.  The Official Hawks jersey colors are White & NAVY BLUE. Hawks teams wear our traditional uniform design of navy pants and navy helmets.  All teams are required to have a home (Dark) jersey and an away (Light) jersey.   Uniforms can be purchased at Locker Room Sports.  Equipment needed is helmet, shoulder pads, pants & pads, game jerseys, mouthpiece and cleats. Also note that clear & white colored mouth guards are illegal.  Please make sure that your player has a colored mouth guard or they may be disallowed to play in an official game!!


For more information contact the Hawks Football Coordinator at

by Hawks Football posted 04/15/2012

The Hawks, in conjunction with the Arapahoe Youth League, participate in three different divisions in which kids can compete depending on your child's skill level and football experience.  We have players from each division move on to play and start in high school and even in many cases, college.  Playing in the appropriate division now will build your child's confidence and maximize their playing time, which is the key to their success in the future.  Parents please make sure you know your child's ability level and are honest with them, and know what your own expectations are before placing your child on a team.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding where your child should play please contact the Football Coordinator (Tom Moore 303-579-7858).


This division is considered our "beginners" division and is recommended for newer teams and players who are new to tackle football.  This division is a good building tool for kids to learn the fundamentals of the game and provides the highest level of guaranteed playing time (at least 24 plays per game) to let them build their skills.  This division is considered our starters league where kids, coaches, and teams start out gaining valuable instruction and a general understanding of the game.  This division is still competitive football and plays by many of the same set of rules as our other divisions.


Most parents will find that the AFC is a perfect fit for their child. The AFC division is considered our experienced division.  Players with tackle football experience are recommended to sign up for this division.  Many of our players spend their entire career at this level before moving on to play high school football.  Many players in this division are capable of playing at the highest level, though the teams overall aren't as experienced as the NFC division teams.  The AFC division guarantees 20 plays per game, as much as 3x the number of plays guaranteed in other organizations.  If your child is looking for a very competitive brand of football, you may want to consider the AFC.  


The NFC is considered our 'select' division where almost all of the kids have several years experience playing tackle football. This division provides the highest level of competition in the state.  The number of guaranteed plays are the lowest (16), but still double what other organizations guarantee.  Roster spots are allocated by the coach of the team.  Parents can request to have their son placed on an NFC team however these teams are typically "hand picked" by the football director or the NFC coaches.  

posted 10/04/2010


Hawks football has a very successful track record and is partly due to our experienced and knowledgeable coaches. 
Many of our coaches have a number of years experience coaching football and other sports. Our coaches are expected to attend at least 2 clinics annually and most of our successful coaches attend numerous clinics throughout the year.  It is this experience and training that allow them to fundamentals and skills in an age appropriate manner and develop players with a solid foundation to move on to high school competition.

If you think you have what it takes to instill a lof of the game and teach the sport of football, please fill out our Coach's Application.  We will follow up with you to schedule an interview.  Each year we look to add quality coaches as both head coaches and assistants on new and existing teams.  

posted 10/04/2010

Games are on Saturdays and will usually begin the first weekend in September. Playoffs can be played as early has the last couple weeks of October concluding with our Super Bowl in November.  Most teams will play 8 regular season games. If your team qualifies, they will go to the Playoffs.  If they keep winning, they will play in the Super Bowl the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Games can be played in Castle Rock, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Centennial, Littleton, & Denver.

posted 10/04/2010

It is highly recommended that every player undergo and pass a physical exam before participating in tackle Football.  Parents make sure your child has passed a routine physical exam before signing them up.


posted 10/03/2010
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