Jr Raider Football and Cheer FAQ

How do I register my child for Jr. Raider Football/Cheer?

Registration is done online and requires a $25 deposit to hold your player’s spot.  Please click on the link on the bottom of this page to access registration. 


How much does it cost to register for Jr. Raiders?

Football $130

Cheer $80

Families registering multiple children will receive a $10 discount for each additional child after the first child is registered.

The vendor we use for online registration will also charge a small fee at the time or registration.  


Balances will be due by July, 15th 2021. All fees must be paid in full before your child can receive equipment and participate in conditioning.  


Financial assistance may be available in some situations.  Please contact a board member to request assistance if needed or click here to send us an email. 


What equipment do I need to buy?

The registration fee covers all required equipment except socks and cleats/cheer shoes, but we do have several totes of used cleats so please contact Jim Townsend if you have need. If your child has braces you will want to contact your orthodontist for an appropriate mouth guard.  For football players, we do provide a traditional girdle with the registration, but many players prefer a newer style integrated girdle.  You are welcome to purchase a new integrated girdle at a sporting goods store if you would like, but we do offer the traditional style at no charge.  We will NOT be selling girdles and padded shirts this year.


Does my child need a sports physical?

Yes.  All Jr. Raider football players and cheerleaders will need to turn in a physical form completed by a licensed medical provider after April 15th of the year of play and prior to participating in conditioning.   Many insurance plans cover the cost or a sports physical with annual well child exams.  Please be sure to make arrangements to have your child’s physical completed prior to conditioning.  You may download a blank physical form under the “Forms” tab on this page. 


Do I need to turn in a concussion form?

Yes, Michigan law requires that we collect a concussion awareness form from all participants in both football and cheer.  You may download a blank concussion awareness form under the “Forms” tab on this page.


Can I make a request for a certain coach for my child?

No, we do not accept requests for specific coaches.  If your child has a relative participating in the same grade, please contact a board member and we will do our best to place them on the same team, but we cannot guarantee these requests.  If we have multiple teams at the same level, we use a player selection  

process to ensure that both teams are as equal in size, strength and athleticism as possible. 


Do Jr. Raider coaches complete safety training?

Yes. All of our football coaches complete online training through USA Football.  This training includes concussion and heat-related illness training.  We are also working to offer our coaches first aid and CPR training in the near future. All cheer coaches complete concussion training on an annual basis.  


Does my child have to attend conditioning?

Yes, our governing body, Mid-Michigan Pony Football League (MMPFL), requires that each participant complete a set number of hours of conditioning prior to participating in practice.  Missing any days of conditioning will require that your child finishes conditioning before joining his/her team for normal practices. 


When will practices occur?

Practice schedules are determined by each team’s coaching staff.  Once the school year has begun, 4th-6th graders may practice up to six hours a week, no more than two hours per practice.  7th-8th graders may practice up to eight hours a week, no more than two hours per practice.  Regular practices begin mid-August and may continue through the end of October depending on grade level.


When will the games be?

Our game schedule is determined by MMPFL.  Games occur mainly on Saturdays, but Sunday games are a possibility.  7th and 8th grade normally have their first game the weekend before Labor Day.  4th through 6th grade normally begins the weekend after Labor Day.  The last game will be scheduled before the end of October.   Depending on the number of teams in a specific grade level, teams may have a bye week where they practice, but do not have a game. 


How far will we have to travel for games?

Most teams play half of their games at home at the Jr. Raider field at Portland Middle School, and the other half away at other MMPFL member communities.  For 2021, MMPFL member communities include: Charlotte, DeWitt, East Lansing, Eaton Rapids, Fulton-Middleton, Grand Ledge, Holt, Ionia, Jackson NW, Lakewood, Mason, Pewamo-Westphalia, Portland, Waverly and St. John's. 


What volunteer opportunities does Jr. Raiders offer for parents/guardians?

We offer numerous opportunities for volunteering.  For each home game, your team parent will coordinate volunteers for chain gang, clock operator, spotter, and possibly announcer.  Home teams will also need a set number of volunteers to cover the concession stand during the game before or after your child’s game. 


If you are interested in coaching, please submit a coaching application found on our “Forms” tab on this page.  Coach applications are reviewed on an annual basis.  Please note that we have a limited number of coach opportunities.


Our board is always looking for new board members to assist with the overall operation of the organization, as well as coordinating special events.  Please contact a board member for more information.


Can my 3rd grader play Jr. Raider football?

We do not field 3rd grade football teams.  In accordance with MMPFL rules, a 3rd grader who is 9 years old on or before September 1st of the current year may play in the 4th grade division.  


What COVID related precautions will be in place for 2021?

Our COVID related procedures for 2021 will be shared as soon as they are finalized.  We are developing a plan to be in compliance with all requirements of the State of Michigan, Ionia County Health Department, Mid-Michigan Pony Football League, and Portland Public Schools.  While the Jr. Raiders program is not affiliated with Portland Public Schools, we hold many of our activities on PPS property and will comply with all district guidelines.  

Click on the link below to be sent to our registration site.
https://tshq.bluesombrero.com/portlandtfa