Registration Underway for New Youth Spring Football Team in Chelsea

Former Chelsea High and Pop Warner football standout Michaelangelo

Recupero wants to help make Chelsea a titan of youth football once again.

Recupero is currently recruiting players and looking for sponsorships for the Chelsea Bears, a spring youth football team for players from 13 to 15 years old.

The season is scheduled to kick off in March, and is part of the New England Youth Tackle Football team.

The spring league also includes teams from Boston, Lynn, Lawrence, Rhode Island, and Revere, where Recupero was recently coaching.

Recupero said youth football numbers have been dwindling in Chelsea, and that the spring league would not compete with any youth leagues in the fall. He said he is hoping to return Chelsea to being a hub of youth football, something he knows about.

“I was part of the 2001 Pop Warner National Championship team, the only team from New England to win a national championship at that time,” said Recupero.

He said it is still the only Massachusetts team to win a Pop Warner championship, competing against the youth football giants of Texas, Florida, and the south, and a team that doesn’t necessarily get the due it deserves in the history of its home city.

Recupero said one of the reasons it’s harder for youth football teams from the Northeast to compete is because of the relative lack of year-round football in the region compared to the rest of the country.

The spring league is part of an effort to bring a greater level of competition to the region, and more importantly, put football back on the map in Chelsea. Recupero said he has the cooperation of the athletic department at the high school, where the team will be able to play its games.

Even the name of the team, the Bears, speaks to Chelsea football history, according to Recupero.

The team is named after former youth football coach James “Bear” Burke, Recupero said.

“He meant a lot to me and a lot of other kids,” said Recupero. “To me, he was like John Madden, but he’s been forgotten. I want to give back like he gave a lot to the kids of that era.”

Recupero said his hope is to expand the spring youth football in Chelsea to include younger age groups, but for now, he is hustling to get the 15U team up and running. He said he is hoping to field a team with about 30 to 35 players.

Unfortunately, Recupero said running and outfitting a youth football team isn’t cheap. He said he’s used his own money to buy 30 pairs of shoulder pads, and he said helmets cost up to $300 each.

Recupero said he has been in touch with local businesses to talk about sponsorship opportunities to help defray some of the costs of running the Chelsea Bears team and is looking for more potential contributions from the community.

Recupero is currently holding registrations at the Browne Middle School on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Registration is $200, and a birth certificate and current physical and report card are required.

For more information, anyone interested in registering a player, or helping to sponsor the team, can contact Recupero at [email protected], check out the Bears Instagram page at Chelsea_Bears_Youth_football, or call Recupero at (617) 952-9971.

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