This fall marks an exciting competitive season for Torrey Pines Pop Warner (TPPW). Cheer and football teams are hard at work preparing for cheer competitions and playoff games, vying to reach Nationals or the Palomar Conference Championship. Read along as we talk with TPPW Cheer Player Agent and Jr. Pee Wee Head Cheer Coach Tammy Davila and TPPW President Christian Hastings about preparations for the competition season, and how the league promotes the Pop Warner mission of promoting fun athletic learning opportunities for children while emphasizing the importance of academic success.
TPPW President Christian Hastings and
TPPW Cheer Player Agent and Jr. Pee Wee Head Cheer Coach Tammy Davila
What is the history and motivation behind Torrey Pines Pop Warner and Cheer (TPPW)?
TPPW was created in 2002 by a group of parents whose kids attended and lived in the area of Torrey Pines High School (TPHS). The program at the time provided a tackle and cheer program for the kids who were residents of Carmel Valley and the La Costa Canyon areas and we needed a program closer to home due to the commute. The parents that lived in the TPHS area stepped up and started the program with the help of the TPHS athletic program. Ed Burke was very instrumental in helping to get this off the ground.
Our goal is to encourage and increase youth participation in football and cheerleading by providing a safe and positive playing environment for all participants, and to instill life-long values of teamwork, dedication, and a superior work ethic in the classroom and on the field.
Which areas or zip codes does the league serve?
Participants ages 5 to 15, who reside in the Torrey Pines High School District, including Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. We welcome any of those who are willing to travel into our area with respect to our fellow associations as well.
When does the playoff/cheer competition season begin?
Tammy: Cheer competition season began with the local Palomar Conference Competition on Oct. 26. Teams must place first or second to move on to the Wescon Regional Competition on Nov. 15. From there, teams must place first or second to move on to Pop Warner Nationals in Orlando, FL, which will take place from Dec. 8 through 12.
Christian: Practices for TPPW begin Aug. 1 and games begin the first week of September. Each football team typically plays ten games in the regular season, however they may have the opportunity to play up to twelve games. Teams at the competitive levels participate in playoff games to hopefully reach the Palomar Conference Championship games.
Which teams will be going to the playoffs or cheer competitions this year?
Tammy: TPPW has three competitive cheer teams this year: Jr. Pee Wee, Pee Wee, and Midget level. All three will compete at the local level first and hopefully move on to Regionals from there.
Christian: We hope all of them! Seriously, it is a great question – we are just getting into playoffs for competitive teams and we have several teams that are moving on to bracket play. Jr. Pee Wee, Pee Wee, Jr. Midget, and Midget programs are all moving into playoffs at the competitive levels. Our cheer program competes every weekend for our boys, and I am so proud of them.
What types of programs does the league offer?
Obviously, football, cheer, and most impressively the Challenger and Stars program. This is a program that allows special needs boys and girls to participate in football and cheer their events, while interacting with their community, fellow youth athletes, and coaches. We were blessed to host a game this year and can’t wait to invite these awesome boys and girls to participate again.
TPPW also has two non-competitive teams this year for young girls to learn the basic sport of cheerleading. Those two teams are Flag cheer and Mitey-Mite cheer. At the age of 8, participants may decide if they want to start doing competitive cheer at the Jr. Pee Wee level.
What ages and abilities can participate in the league? Is TPPW a recreational or competitive league?
Tammy: Any child residing within the boundaries of Torrey Pines High School is eligible to participate in cheer if they are at least 5 years old and not older than 15 years old as of July 31 of the current year. TPPW Cheer offers children an opportunity to be on a competitive team once they are 8 years old.
Christian: Pop Warner football starts at flag and graduates at the midget level. We accept almost all ages and all abilities, and that is what defines Pop Warner. We have defined divisions for those who are new to the sport to the more competitive divisions. TPPW has the incredible Challenger and Stars program for special needs kids interested in cheer or football that brings anyone into this game we all love.
What is your role with TPPW?
Tammy: I am the cheer player agent and Jr. Pee Wee cheer head coach. As the player agent, I am a board member responsible for registration and preparation of official rosters. I ensure that all contracts are completed properly and submitted to the conference for approval. I work closely with the cheer coordinator and field all problems between players and parents. As the head coach, I oversee all aspects of the team including organizing and planning cheer practices, training clinics, and competitions. I am certified on proper safety to ensure my staff is following Pop Warner guidelines and requirements.
Christian: I maintain structure and help facilitate in any capacity positively. My role is also to get those boys and girls on the field! I do not take being the president of TPPW lightly. I got involved years ago because my family loved Pop Warner and I am a strong believer in giving back to a great community and a dedicated association.
What is the league’s overall mission?
Palomar Conference is committed to providing each athlete, both football and cheer, with an enjoyable learning experience. We are dedicated to improving the skills of each participant through good coaching, practice, and competition. We understand that the primary reason young athletes participate in sports is to have fun while competing with each other. We believe every athlete matters and our mission is to provide the opportunities and training necessary for all to learn and compete at his or her greatest ability. We also will strive for academic achievement for every participant, believing that academics and sports go hand in hand in shaping our young athletes. Finally, we believe that while competing to win is important, the greater value lies in competing with honor, practicing good sportsmanship, and being gracious in victory and defeat.
Tell us about your coaching staff and their professional background.
Our football and cheer staff is vetted by our coaches’ agent and then reviewed and interviewed by our board of directors. Each coach receives Pop Warner safety training to ensure each participant is taught in a skilled and safe environment. We are super impressed with the quality of coaches we have attracted to our TPPW program. NFL, collegiate, and former TPHS coaches and athletes have graced our fields. Some of our current coaches play dual roles and even coach at the high school level – what a tremendous opportunity for our Falcons! We are very proud to have coaches who care so much about giving back to the community.
How can someone go about sponsoring a team? Who are the current sponsors?
Our organization is nonprofit and the generous contributors and sponsors make it all possible. TPPW has some exciting sponsorship packages in place. There are different sponsorship levels in and details are available on our website at www.torreypinespw.com.
Does the league hold fundraisers throughout the season?
There are high expenses associated with competitive cheer. We do our best to offset these expenses with fundraising. Each team has some exciting programs in place. Families have the opportunity to have most of the additional expenses covered by fundraising if they choose to participate.
Some of the cheer and football teams may have the opportunity to travel places like Arizona, Nevada, and Florida to represent TPPW in Nationals. You can learn more about fundraisers on the TPPW website.
For those interested in volunteering, how can they get involved?
We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help our organization. Interested individuals can visit www.torreypinespw.com or contact our Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How has TPPW evolved over the years?
Tammy: At the local level, TPPW is a well-respected, quality program with a proven track record that speaks for itself. Last season we had teams win at the local, regional, and national levels. Our coaches are seasoned and participate in considerable pre-season training and First Aid/CPR training. We work hard to prepare our players to compete at the next level. TPPW is a part of the Palomar Conference, which is the most well-established and experienced league in North San Diego County. Palomar Conference has consistently delivered an impressive level of organization and competition.
Christian: The fact that we were able to have our inaugural 7 on 7 passing league last year was a game changer! This past spring was even more successful. And I’m pleased that we are launching a passing/flag league (Palomar Passing League) that will start in March. This will allow all kids in the community to play both sides of the ball during the off-season through Pop Warner.
What is the most exciting aspect about being a part of TPPW?
Tammy: The most exciting aspect for me is taking children with no experience and turning them into inspired athletes by the end of the season. I love working with children. Helping them achieve goals is the most rewarding part of my job. I love the opportunity to pay it forward!
Christian: Seeing those boys and girls on the high school campus being successful in whatever sport, academic, or art program they choose!
What are you looking forward to the most in regards to this upcoming season?
Tammy: My favorite part of the season is about to start. I love the competition season. The coaches and the teams work so hard preparing for that special moment on stage. It’s so nice to see when all of their hard work pays off!
What are the three or four reasons participants enjoy TPPW?
Tammy: Children and parents make lifelong friendships. Children walk away from our program with a strong sense of discipline and responsibility. We encourage a strong work ethic on the field and in the classroom. Children work hard and have a lot of fun!
Christian: TPPW has a reputation for having some of the best coaching staffs, practice facilities, and an incredible supportive community. With a very well organized Board of Directors, supportive community, and well-coached teams, TPPW football and cheer will continue to be successful.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Christian: It is so rewarding for us to see our children progress through this great program and grow up before our eyes! We think of our volunteers, participants, and parents as our TPPW family, and we’re confident that you will be happy with your Pop Warner experience. Go Falcons!
AT-A-GLANCE | Torrey Pines Pop Warner
AT-A-GLANCE | Tammy Davila
Community: Del Mar
Education: Graduate of the University of Miami
Family: Married with four children. Two of my sons play football with TPPW and our daughter cheers for TPPW. My husband and I both coach for TPPW.
Hobbies and Interests: Coaching, cheer, and dance
Favorite Pop Warner Division: All of them
AT-A-GLANCE | Christian Hastings
Community: Del Mar
Education: Berklee College of Music
Family: Wife – Camille; Children – Marissa (18), Johnny (16), and Miles (14)
Hobbies and Interests: Music, youth sports, and The Christian Hastings band
Favorite Pop Warner Division: Midgets (all of them!)