Junior Raiders: New Name, Same Sports
The Junior Raiders program has a new name but will still offer its football, cheerleading and track programs.
During the past 18 months, the Junior Raiders program has been transitioning its programs and activities over to Junior Raiders Sports.
The original Junior Raiders program started 20 years ago and has grown to support over 600 children and their families. The founders and executive board of the Hillsborough Junior Raiders Youth Association, Inc., have donated equipment and other property to the new organization so programs can continue to serve the families of Hillsborough.
Junior Raiders Sports has applied to the IRS for its 501(c)3, tax exempt status. The Board of Trustees and the Steering Committee of Junior Raiders Sports would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the volunteers who spent countless hours at all levels of this organization over the last two years, ensuring the continuation of the proud Jr. Raiders name.
In order to ensure the continued high level of youth athletics in Hillsborough, the Hillsborough Junior Raiders Sports, Inc. will be continuing the activities of the Junior Raiders program.
Junior Raiders Sports currently offers three programs that compete in various organizations. They are:
- The Hillsborough Football League (HFL) comprised of flag and tackle football. Typically there are 20 plus teams broken out into grade based divisions. The HFL is all inclusive, regardless of ability and play at a competitive level locally. We use NFHS NJ officials for these games and play by high school rules with modifications based on age. From this group we select two teams to participate in the JR Skylands Football Conference. The JR Skylands also uses NFHS officials and is an extremely competitive league made up of a JV 5/6th grade team and a 7/8th grade Varsity team. Our 2011 Varsity team won the conference and moved on to the state final against the top teams in NJ. The Jr. Raiders are past NJ State Champions, and won numerous conference championships at JV and Varsity levels in the Mercer and JR Skyland conferences.
- Cheerleaders. There is a large core group of cheerleaders (200+) who support the HFL teams weekly following the format of inclusiveness. Part of the Jr. Raiders growth in 2011 has been the introduction of the GEMS cheer squad. The GEMS are our adaptive cheerleading group for children with various disabilities and cheer for the HFL teams. Cheer also has competition squads that travel throughout the state and have won many awards and championships at many levels of competition. Our competition squads also cheer for all our JR Skylands football teams.
- Track is back! We are starting an all inclusive track program and work toward the goal of having our kids compete in USA Track and Field events (USAFT). We are excited to bring the program back and have the backing of the middle school and high school coaches. The USAFT has its own set of requirements which we will be incorporating as we grow.
Submitted by Hillsborough Junior Raiders.