Delano Stallions junior and senior teams played very well back on July 21, not losing a game during its first 7-on-7 football passing tournament to kick off its 39th annual season.
The senior Stallions went 3-0, while the juniors went 2-0-1, said Sal Dimas, heading both football teams this year. In the lineman competition, seniors took second overall, while the juniors took third place.
The season officially kicked off Monday.
"Hopefully, we will get a good squad out," said Dimas, who will also be head coach of the junior team. "And we get good numbers like we did last year."
Last year was magical for Dimas who led the seniors to an 11-2 overall record and a bid in the Sequoia Youth Football League championship game.
This year, Abiel Menchaca will be senior head coach, Dimas said.
"We hope all the kids come out and join the fun and become a Delano Stallion," he said.
Unofficially, Stallions, and its Pee Wee program, offered 10 free football camps from March 18 to April 17 on Mondays and Wednesdays at Cecil Park.
The Stallions program is open to all youth ages 6-15 in Delano and surrounding communities.
The Sequoia Youth Football Carnival will be Aug. 17 in Richgrove. That is where teams will scrimmage against teams prior to the season staring.
Delano Stallions first game is Aug. 31 in Visalia. The first home game will be Sept. 14 hosting Hanford. All home games will again be played at Delano High School’s Gene Beck Stadium on Saturdays. Homecoming will be Oct. 12 against Woodlake Tigers.
The Stallions, first known as the Delano Patriots, have been around since 1980, when it was started by Stuart Collins and Al Watts, along with a $5,000 donation from the Greater Delano Area Youth Foundation. That money paid for enough equipment to outfit a senior team of 35 seventh and eighth graders.
“We joined the Sequoia Youth Football League, and we were told we would not win a game,” Collins recalled. “And we would be lucky to score.” The Patriots scored, and “we ended up winning seven games and lost only one.”
The program has been very successful for the past 38 years, Collins said. Since then it has added a junior team, which includes another 35 players.
The program, which changed to Stallions in 1988, has made it to 13 championship games, winning eight titles. The Stallions still play in the Sequoia Youth Football League with teams from Dinuba, Visalia, Corcoran, Strathmore, Lindsay, Earlimart, Richgrove, McFarland, Tulare and Porterville.
Collins said a lot of credit goes to all of those men/boys who have coached through the years with success.
Stallion officials said along with great players, parents and coaches, the program's success would not have been possible without donations from local establishments/businesses such as: Hocking, Denton & Palmquist, Empire Ag Transports, Inc., Delano Farms, Hronis & Sons, C & H Fence & Patio, Pandol Bros., Tony’s Pizza, Elk’s Lodge, Greg’s Petroleum, Sevier’s Auto Supply, Jasmine Vineyards, Inc., Columbine Vineyards and Greater Delano Area Youth Foundation.
To donate to the program, please call Stuart Collins at 661-725-1549.