Youth football

Keoni Mandobon prepares to throw a pass during the annual Punt, Pass and Kick competition for the youth of Central Texas on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Copperas Cove.

Robert Troy has been a youth football coach for nearly a decade. He started to help coach his son, so they could spend some quality time together.

After nine years he still coaches Cove’s Division II Cowboys. He has won championships, and endured seasons without a victory.

Through it all, Troy’s passion for coaching never waivered, and when he heard recent budget cuts would cancel the upcoming youth tackle football program, rather than complain, he did something.

Troy approached David McBride, proprietor of Dave’s Bar & Grill, and asked to host a benefit at the establishment — McBride agreed. The benefit starts at noon Sunday.

“We are having a fundraiser for tackle football league,” he said. “The budget was short and youth tackle was one of the programs that was cut. There’s no point in letting this happen.”

Troy said it is too easy for the community to come together and save the program, which is why he is so positive the league will be saved, because he has full faith in his fellow Cove residents.

“When we save this program, we need the community to watch the games even if their kids aren’t involved to save it for future generations,” he said. “If we don’t save it, there will be more injuries at the junior and high school levels.”

Troy said his son plays in junior high and faces opponents he swears are every bit as tall as his 6-foot, 4-inch frame.

“If these kids don’t learn proper technique at the youth level, they will get hurt at the next level,” he said. “You want to worry about concussions? What will happen when these kids don’t know how to properly tackle?”

Troy’s own cover band, The Hammer Goat Band, will perform for the benefit and all proceeds will be donated to the program.

Frank Seffrood, Cove’s mayor pro tem, and City Manager Andrea Gardner will be there to show their support.

“I am going and so is Andrea Gardner,” he said. “Neither one of us drinks beer or alcohol, but we need to save the program. As I told her, we aren’t there to drink.”

Troy doesn’t plan on drinking either — that’s not the point.

“I want support for the children,” he said. “We can’t let football go away and here is our opportunity to do it.”

Contact James Harper at or 254-501-7554.​

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