Today, the Lauderhill Lions of Broward County Florida have officially been accepted and joined Division One in the Miami Pop Warner chapter, a source tells Football Hotbed. The Lions are coming from the B.E.S.T. Youth Football League which is now in an uncertain state as three of their seven teams have already left the league this off season. Laurderhill makes four.
Two years after the dissolution of the South Florida Youth Football League, then the predominant league in the South Florida area, one of its strongest programs enters the Greater Miami South Florida Pop Warner chapter. It was beyond thought back in 2009 that any teams would consider leaving the SYFL, today as that league has been reduced to two programs, there’s a new reality in South Florida.
Lauderhill enters Pop Warner after being denied their application for entry into the Florida Youth Football League. Lauderhill was reportedly denied by a 10-4 vote, though FYFL president Martin Maltsby denies those claims. The Lauderhill organization is headed up by Sam Goodman, who also founded the B.E.S.T. Youth Football League last year. The league was very successful and took the other half of the teams that left the South Florida Youth Football League which didn’t matriculate to the newly formed FYFL.
As far as on the field performance, the move to Pop Warner won’t big too big of an adjustment for the Lions as during their 2013 season in the B.E.S.T. League, they played under a weight schematic very similar to Pop Warner. In fact, they should be at an advantage as they are familiar with rules and minimum play, things most new Pop Warner programs have to learn on the job.
Lauderhill had come under pressure by those inside the organization who were concerned about the FYFL being so attractive and feared potentially losing kids to other organizations nearby who were apart of that league. Now, Lauderhill stands alone in a new league with a national structure and figures to be competitive immediately in Division One of the Greater Miami chapter. The neighboring Lauderhill Broncos organization is also a member of Pop Warner and both teams share a home turf field stadium.