Passing of the Torch to New Leadership for SB Pop Warner

The South Boston Pop Warner Football League (SBPW) has announced a change in leadership for the 2018 season. A statement released by the league late last week reads as follows:

“South Boston Pop Warner (SBPW) is thrilled to announce that Eric Manning will be the new president and Kaitlyn Irving will be the new Cheer Coordinator for SBPW. Eric and Kaitlyn bring years of coaching experience and a dedication to SBPW. SBPW would like to thank outgoing board members Dan Ferrara, Kelli O’Brien and John Clifford for their many years of service. Dan, Kelli and John are grateful for the cooperation and dedication from coaches, parents and players over the years in making the program so well respected. They wish Eric and Kaitlyn great success and are excited for them to lead the program into the future. “South Boston’s Pop Warner league has been a source of pride for this neighborhood since it was restarted now going on two decades ago. In fact, this year will mark its 20th season since Brian Wallace, The Ferrara brothers, Dan and Bob, Pat Eagan, Bob Lerro and Jim Higgins saw the need for South Boston to have its own youth football program and decided to make it happen. With the backing of excited parents, local elected officials, supportive local businesses, the late Tom Butler and Massport and a legion of enthusiastic volunteers, it came to be after much planning and organizing. The finished product is impressive.

At each game, whether they are played at home or away, every spec- tator cannot help but take notice of these well disciplined young athletes in their blue and gold Fighting Irish uniforms as they proudly take the field for pregame warm-ups and then give their heart and soul from the kick off to the end of the final play. The fact that they have been well trained by dedicated coaches be- comes immediately apparent as they always display good sportsmanship, win or lose. With talented, very en- thusiastic and championship winning cheerleaders on the sidelines cheering the teams onto victory, it’s easy to see why SBPW is what is often referred to as a ‘top shelf organization’ – one of the finest.

South Boston Today had the pleasure of speaking with outgoing president Dan Ferrara. We asked him for his thoughts and comments on his 18 years as the league presi- dent. What was clear from the start of the interview was that he enjoyed it, found it rewarding and was glad to have played a role for so long.

He had tremendous praise for all the people who gave of their time and effort over the years to make the organization what it is today. What he called a very positive experience that has created fond and lasting memories for him was getting to know and work with so many great people. He showered praise on the kids, the parents, the coaches and the sponsors, all of whom contribute to the success of SBPW.

As a former football player him- self, he spent much of his time in the early years of the league coaching, as well as performing the duties as the league’s president. Always one to share the credit, he highlighted the hard work of John Clifford, Brian Wallace, his brother Bob Ferrara, Pat Eagan, Kelli O’Brien, Bobby Lerro,

Jimmy Higgins and others too numer- ous to mention in one article. Dan was also confident and very much at ease and grateful knowing the organiza- tion would be in good hands under the new leadership of Eric Manning and Kaitlyn Irving as he spoke glowingly of their experience with the league and their dedication to the kids.

In addition to all the caring volunteers who have so worked hard to ensure the success of SBPW, Dan Ferrara credited all the local businesses that over the years have been sponsors. Along with the local business owners, there were also the do- nations given by the SBCD Founda- tion at the Convention Center. Their help makes it possible for new, up to date and safe equipment to be continuously purchased. Without their financial assistance and support, it would have been a far more difficult task and a much higher expense for families with participating children which the SBPW has always been able to keep low and affordable.

In closing, Dan Ferrara says he has confidence that SBPW will continue to thrive for many more years to come and he encourages more adults to get involved in volunteering their time, whether for a commitment of several years or even just one season. And why not? Working with and helping provide positive role models for so many great local kids in a healthy activity is among the most rewarding things an adult can do. Being part of an organization such as SBPW, which for 20 years has given guidance and direction in so many ways to area kids and helped them on the path to success, whether it is with education and career opportunities is something every adult can be proud of.

South Boston Today would like to add our voice to the many residents who are appreciative and grateful for the hard work and dedication that the outgoing SBPW officers have given for so long, as well as to the new officers stepping in to fill the positions. All of you, as well as everyone who gives of their time to help make sure this fine program continues, deserve very special praise.