Fullerton Junior All American Bears

The Fullerton Junior All American Bears are members of the Orange County Junior All American Football Conference (OCJAAF). Comprised of twenty-nine (29) chapter (city) members throughout the Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties, OCJAAF is the largest youth football and cheerleading organization in the nation. The Fullerton Junior All American Bears are honored to contribute to OCJAAF's diversity, which makes the Orange County Junior All American Football Conference number one in competition. The Fullerton Junior All American Bears are proud to sponsor OCJAAF's core values of "family" and of "community" - the standards that keep OCJAAF and the Fullerton Junior All American Bears a leading youth football and cheerleading organization. Families come in many combinations and we celebrate the word of "family" as meaning: team, the Fullerton Junior All American Bears, community and the OCJAAF Conference. There is nothing stronger than the spirit in the word of family and you will see it and feel it within the Fullerton Junior All American Bears organization and our OCJAAF Conference.

The objective of the Fullerton Junior All American Bears program is to inspire youth, regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin; to practice the ideals of health, citizenship and character; to bring our youth closer together through the means of a common interest in sportsmanship, fair play and fellowship; to impart to the game elements of safety, sanity and intelligent supervision; and to keep the welfare of the player and/or cheerleader first, foremost and entirely free of adult lust for glory.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pop Warner Wouldn't Like Pop Warner

Published: Oct. 23, 2012 Updated: Oct. 24, 2012 7:41 a.m.

Mickadeit: Pop Warner wouldn't like Pop Warner


Lots of guys can say they played in Pop Warner. Julian Ertz might be the only guy still around who can say he played for Pop Warner.

In the late 1930s, Ertz was a reserve fullback at Temple University, where the legendary Glenn "Pop" Warner ended his career.

As such, Ertz, 93, believes he can say without qualification that Pop Warner would be mortified to learn that men who coach kids in the program that bears his name allegedly paid players to injure other players.

Ertz rang me up after reading the Pop Warner bounty scandal articles by Keith Sharon and me. Could Ertz actually be the last person alive who played for Pop Warner?

There's no easy way to know for sure, but he played on Pop Warner's last team, the 1938 Temple Owls, and he knows of no other living Pop Warner player.

"I know that from the way he conducted himself, that in no way would he have wanted one of his players to hurt another player," Ertz told me during my visit to his home in Laguna Woods last weekend. "A 'gentleman' is the way I would describe him." A College Football Hall of Fame site quotes a Warner mantra: "You cannot play two kinds of football at once, dirty and good."

Warner was already a legend by the time he got to Temple in 1933. He had already led three national championship teams at Pitt, coached Jim Thorpe at Carlisle, invented the screen pass and, oh, yeah, lent his name to a youth football program.

He also had invented shoulder pads – U.S. Patent No. 1,887,473 bears his name – and thigh pads which, ironically, a Tustin Pop Warner team allegedly altered to get a player in under the weight limit.

Ertz, by contrast, was just a 19-year-old kid from western Pennsylvania when he matriculated at Temple in Philadelphia in the fall of 1938. Warner had difficulty walking, Ertz recalls, so he stood on a raised platform on the sidelines and watched practices.

"On each play, he knew what all 22 players had done. He'd point and say very softly, 'OK, so-and-so, you didn't do this. And so-and-so, you didn't do that.' He never gave you hell in front of the other players, he was always analyzing."

Ertz doesn't overplay his role on the team. He was beaten out for starting fullback by a guy named Jim Honochick, who later became a Major League Baseball umpire. Nor does he claim Pop Warner was without vice. "He always had cigarette. He'd finish one and use it to light the next."

(Ertz had his own vice of sorts at Temple – he sneaked off for music lessons that he never told his teammates about.)

Warner was big on school. "Pop would softly say, 'Be sure to go to class and get good grades. ... You're here to get an education.'"

That Ertz did, receiving a degree in business. After serving as a B-24 navigator in World War II, he went to law school at the University of New Mexico. He practiced in Albuquerque for a while, then moved to Orange County, where he practiced some 30 years.

The scholarship side of football that Pop Warner embodied was not lost on Ertz. In O.C., he was a charter member and ultimately president of the local chapter of the National Football Foundation, which each year honors high school football scholar-athletes.

What does he think of the bounty allegations besmirching the Pop Warner name? "Terrible. Awful. If I were a parent and I had any choice, I'd see (the offending coaches) never got to work with the kids again."

Mickadeit writes Mon.-Fri. Contact him at 714-796-4994 or fmickadeit@ocregister.com.

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