NEWARK (DE): The game benefits the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens with intellectual disabilities and showcases the state’s top high school senior football players, along with their hand-in-hand buddies as well as cheerleaders, band members and school ambassadors.
The players are chosen based on their outstanding character and football ability. At least one senior from each school with a football team is invited. The Tatnall Hornet’s was not on the rooster this year because they did not have any senior football players last year, so they don’t have a stay in this year’s game.
Caesar Rodney coach Dan Candeloro will serve as head coach of the Gold team. His assistant coaches will include CR’s Brian Berns, Woodbridge’s Jed Bell, First State Military Academy’s Blair Newman, Milford’s Shaun Strickland and Cape Henlopen’s Michael Tkach.
Blue Team’s head coach will be McKean’s Matt Carre. He will be joined by McKean’s Shakir Ali and Jerome Wilmore, A.I. du Pont’s John Barr, St. Elizabeth’s Marvin Dooley and Howard’s Dan Ritter as assistant coaches.
St. Elizabeth’s Marvin Dooley will also serve as camp director and his assistant camp directors will be Preston Grace of Woodbridge, John Wilson of St. Georges and Frank Moffett of Hodgson.
Newark’s head coach, Jody Russell will be the Blue-Gold athletic committee chairperson.
- The DFRC Blue-Gold senior All-Star football game is moving to Friday night.
- The game will be played on Friday, June 21, 2019, it will be the first time it does so on a Friday night in the event’s 64-year history. Kickoff will be at 7:00 p.m. and opening ceremonies begin at 5:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.dfrc.org or call the DFRC office at (302) 454-2730
- Three Christina School District players will have the opportunity to play on Tubby Raymond Field.
“We are going to save $8,000 by moving it one day earlier,” DFRC executive director Tony Glenn explained. “So if DFRC can find a way to get more money out to the folks who need it, that’s our first priority.”
How the All-tar Football Game Works:
There are several ways that students can participate in the DFRC Blue-Gold All★Star Football experience. High school students are designated by their school officials to participate as Ambassadors, Band Members, Cheerleaders, and Football Players. All of these students are integral parts of the Blue-Gold Program and Game each year. Students attending high schools without varsity football teams may still participate as Ambassadors, Band Members, or Cheerleaders.
Many high schools have formed Blue-Gold Clubs, inviting their full student community to share some of the same experiences as those officially chosen to participate in the Game, regarding knowledge and understanding about people who are intellectually challenged. For more information about how to create a high school club, contact the DFRC office at (302) 454-2730 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Initiated in 1994, the Ambassador Program was developed to bring greater awareness, leadership and activity into the high schools on behalf of DFRC. Two seniors and two juniors are selected by faculty, staff and administrative leadership from each Delaware high school. Selections are based upon character, leadership, sensitivity, and compassion for others. Ambassadors help spread DFRC’s message of diversity and acceptance throughout their schools and communities, along with hosting fundraisers for DFRC. Banners representing each high school are created by the Ambassadors and are displayed at Blue-Gold events and on Game Day.
One of the largest groups in the Blue-Gold Program is the DFRC Blue-Gold All★Star Football Marching Band. All high school band musicians and band front in grades 9 – 12 are encouraged to participate. Band members must have the recommendation of their band director/music department chair and school principal. There is no limit to the number of band members who may participate. A student’s school does not need to have a football team or a regular marching band in order for students to participate. Senior band members are also encouraged to participate in the Hand-in-Hand Program where they will be matched with a child or young adult with an intellectual disABILITY.
Senior cheerleaders are nominated by their school’s football cheerleading coach and principal to participate. If a school does not have a football program, cheerleaders from the general school squad may be nominated. Three cheerleaders may be nominated from each high school based upon their character, skill, school spirit and dedication.
Players are nominated by their own high school Head Football Coach, and then approved by their school’s Athletic Director and Principal through a character verification process. All-State or All-Conference athletes are not automatically selected to play in the Blue-Gold Game. All players nominated must meet Blue-Gold character standards. The Blue and Gold Head Coaches, selected by The Delaware Interscholastic Football Coaches Association (DIFCA), then select team players to play in the Game from the nominees submitted.
Thirty-six players are selected for each team. The Blue Team consists of players from most high schools in New Castle County. The Gold Team is comprised of players from all high schools in Kent and Sussex counties, as well as the Christina and Appoquinimink District high schools. Each high school with a Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association sanctioned football team that has qualified seniors will have at least one representative on a Blue-Gold squad each year, however no school may have more than four representatives in a single year.
The Hand-in-Hand Program is the very heart of DFRC’s Blue-Gold Program. One of its major goals is to spread awareness and promote a better understanding of the abilities of people who are intellectually challenged. Since 1974, high school participants have been offered the unique opportunity, through the Hand-in-Hand Program, to be paired with a child or young adult with an intellectual disABILITY, their “Buddy.”