By Coleen Cutchember, Chris Pixton
LEXINGTON PARK, Md. (November 9, 2009)—On Friday, October 23, the Pax River Raiders organization held a Pep Rally at Lancaster Park to kick off their homecoming weekend. Hundreds of players along with their coaches, friends, and family members gathered on their home field for an evening of spirited cheers, friendly contests, and continued camaraderie amongst the Raiders family.
The Raiders organization, founded in 2006 by Chris and Rachel Pixton, participates in the Calvert County Parks & Recreation youth football league. Mr. and Mrs. Pixton established the Pax River Raiders to provide an opportunity for parents, players, and cheerleaders to participate in a fair, positive and competitive youth sports environment with strict conduct guidelines.
As the organization approaches the last game in the 2009 regular season, more than half of the 18 Raider teams, which compete throughout 7 weight and age divisions, have either achieved a playoff berth or have the opportunity to do so in the ensuing game.
Notably, the Raiders' Unlimited team—a mix of 11 through 14 year olds that have surpassed the weight limit of the 120-lb division—has had a fantastic season as a direct result of the instruction and assistance received from Leonardtown High School's Coaches Anthony Prattley and James Klenk. The Unlimited Raiders currently hold the 2nd seed in their division and have achieved a playoff berth. Prattley and Klenk have graciously donated their time to work with the Raiders while in return have had the opportunity to begin teaching the schools' offensive and defensive systems as these boys finish middle school and look forward to their high school football competitions.
In addition to the partnership with Leonardtown High School, the Pax River Raiders teamed up with St. Mary's Ryken High School football head coach, Bob Harmon, over the summer. Harmon led drills, lectures and scrimmage games at the Pax River Raiders' Youth Football Camp that was held in July of this year. In appreciation, the Pax River Raiders organization made a donation of $1,000 to St. Mary's Ryken High School for their football program. The partnership, deemed successful by the Raiders and Ryken coaches, is anticipated to continue next season when the school will open up its brand new 1,000-seat sports stadium with a turf field and extend its use to the Pax River Raiders.
Looking forward to the 2010 Raiders' season, Chris Pixton plans to once again host a St. Mary's County youth football contact camp that is open to all kids ages 5 to 14, regardless of their league affiliation. As for the Raiders and the current proposal for St. Mary's County Parks and Recreation to run a St. Mary's County youth football program, Mr. Pixton plans to continue participation with the CCPR football program because it has provided the Raiders a fair, positive, and competitive youth sports environment with strict conduct guidelines for four years-exactly what the Pixtons were looking for 4 years ago when they established the organization.