Middle School in preparation for their season that begins next month.
"What's been really neat about the season so far is the parent
interest," Vikings' President Mike McDonald said. "We have about 150
parents out each day for our practices. I've always said that
football is a team sport, and that includes the parents.
"We also have some very good coaching staffs with very good
The Burbank Vikings -- boasting about 165 players this season --
is a tackle football program for kids ages 8 to 14, and is the only
youth football organization in the city.
Although the program suffered through some hard times in the 1980s
through the mid-1990s -- even disbanding for a time -- the last few
seasons the organization has experienced an increased interest and
more players are coming out.
Since its inception in 1969, the Vikings have helped develop its
share of successful players. Organization alumni have gone on to star
in high school and major college football, and a few have even made
it to the NFL.
"Hopefully we have turned the corner," McDonald said. "But we
still have a lot of work to do.
"We have had help from the local high schools, but we need their
continued help and support to be successful."
McDonald, a product of the Vikings who went on to star at
Burroughs, USC and with the L.A. Rams, said the main focus of the
organization is to develop players.
"Our goal with the Vikings is not to win conference
championships," McDonald said. "What we want to do is teach the game
of football to players so they can have the fundamentals to go on and
play in high school."
This year, the organization will field six teams which are spread
across four divisions. Determined by an age/weight formula, the
divisions are: Bantam, age 8 to 10; Junior I, 9 to 12; Junior II, 10
to 13; Senior, 11 to 14.
Both boys and girls are eligible to play. And for those whose
interests tend more toward the spirit side of football, the Vikings
also offer a cheerleading program. This season, the organization has
more than 50 cheerleaders.
"One of the better teams this season should be our Junior II