The West Orange Bobcats are ready for the 2014 season and, in their second season of a partnership with West Orange High School, the youth football program is hoping to continue to grow its imprint.
Formerly known as the Windermere Bobcats and the Central Florida Bobcats, the organization — which provides football and cheerleading teams for ages 4-through-14 — partnered with West Orange before the beginning of the 2013 season.
The Bobcats adopted West Orange’s blue-and-orange color scheme and now plays their home games at Raymond Screws Stadium as well as practicing on the practice fields between the school’s main campus and Ninth Grade Center.
“[The partnership was] mainly to have more of an interaction with the high school,” Sarah Boudreaux, the treasurer and registrar for the organization, said. “Most of our kids are going to go to West Orange High.”
Despite competition from Pop Warner’s West Orange Wildcats and the Central Florida Youth Football League’s Southwest Orlando Titans and Ocoee Cardinals, the Bobcats — which compete in the Florida Youth Football and Cheer League — have formidable participation numbers. The team will have 120 football players and 80 cheerleaders participating this coming fall, drawing from Windermere, Winter Garden, Dr. Phillips and Ocoee.
The Bobcats have been around since 2007 and have played their past few seasons in the FYFCL — a league that operates under the umbrella of AAU Football. The organizing members of the program sought to, among other things, provide a place for bigger youths to play youth football as Pop Warner has historically had stricter regulations on playing weights for its particular age group divisions.
The lack of weight limits proved to be beneficial for Boudreaux’s own son, Parker, who played for the Bobcats as a youth and now is a 6’5, 281-lbs. junior offensive lineman for Bishop Moore Catholic High School with more than 30 scholarship offers.
The West Orange Bobcats and the FYFCL are in the final stages of finalizing this coming season’s schedule, with the 2014 slate expected to released this week.