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Why Your Son or Daughter Should Play Pop Warner Football With SMPW

As President of SMPW for the past 20 years, I want to share why I believe your son or daughter should play football with SMPW.   I also had 3 sons play at SMPW who started out playing at Flag and went through our program, played in high school and two went on to play in college.   This feedback also is from the perspective of my 24 years of head coaching in SMPW and at high school.

While we are not perfect, I believe we provide the following that you will not find with other options:

  1. Safety matters at SMPW.    We don't just say it, we demand it of every volunteer and coach.   Every volunteer must take a safety course every year.   Every coach must not only attend a mandatory conference training, but at SMPW we require our coaches to attend 2 additional sessions that SMPW requires.   All coaches attend and participate or they don't coach.   Every coach goes through a background check that SMPW conducts in coordination with local law enforcement.  Every coach goes through an established interview protocol no matter how many years they have coached. We have a safety manager that does an investigation on any and all incidents.  At SMPW, coaches are monitored regularly.   If they don't follow the rules, they don't coach.  
  2. Coaching - I believe SMPW has the best coaches.   Many of our head coaches have been high school coaches.   Many do not even have kids on the teams.   There are 3 mandatory coach clinics that SMPW coaches must attend.  We know that coaches make the difference in how your athlete develops and has a direct reflection on the fun, safety and future success that they will have.
  3. Life Lessons - I believe that SMPW reflects the video link at the top of the home page.   That is what we want to be and I think we are close across the board.   Please watch.  Character matters at SMPW and that is required of our teams and coaches.   You get what you must work hard for what you want....and if it does not go the way you want all the time(it won't) what we teach is "WHAT DO YOU DO NEXT" and provide the support.   We are talking LIFE SKILLS here that are hard to get sometimes in other activities.  
  4. More than Athletics - SMPW has had over 7000 players go through the system.   We have had 4000 play high school football and over 700 play in college but it is more than that.   I know so many SMPW alumni that are doctors, lawyers, business owners etc.    SMPW is a vital component in leadership development.   The push for every player to be a leader on the football field transitions to the classroom and life.   One of my best personal examples of success beyond the game field was from this past year where the team I was fortunate to coach not only got to the Championship, but the most important success is that they EARNED the conference SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD.   Character matters, life lessons matter!  

I don't know of any other youth program/class/seminar/school that you can sign you son or daughter up for and get the above.

Sincerely, Mark Graves, SMPW President


OC's Biggest and Best Leads With Cutting Edge Safety Technology in 2019

NFL Head Referee's Tony Corrente and Carl Cheffers spoke to SMPW!

SMPW is teaming up with Dr. Mike Flores and team from AMP Sports Med in 2018 to provide cutting edge technology  for every SMPW player with Safety as the number 1 focus.

Dr. Mike  spoke on this new process at the SMPW Town Hall on June 11th.   The Town Hall was held during SMPW Physical Day at Athlete's Choice in Rancho Santa Margarita.   Dr. Mike spoke on concussion prevention and the use of KINETISENSE technology.

The Town Hall also featured current NFL Head Referee's Tony Corrente,  and Carl Cheffers who talked  about football safety from an officiating perspective and shared some NFL stories.   Tommy D,  of  Athlete's Choice spoke on effective player training  to round out our guest speakers.  

Look for additional innovation led by SMPW in 2019

2021 Fall Registration Open and Filling Up Fast!


We believe that SAFETY is our top priority




In 2019, SMPW had all competitive level teams make the playoffs!   No other league has that happen.   It starts with coaching and organization.    Two teams played in Regional Championships with one winning the championship.   We had FIVE teams play for Orange Bowl Championships!   No other youth football/Cheer comes close!   WHY? SMPW has better organization and better coaching than those other leagues. 5 of our head coaches have 20 years each experience in youth football and DON'T have kids on the team and 4 other head coaches have over 10 years experience each! 

In 2018, SMPW also became the new home of the MV COWBOYS program with multiple Cowboy Teams.   SMPW will keep the proud MV COWBOYS heritage alive.   You are in COWBOY COUNTRY!  Our Pee Wee Cowboys team is coached by the founding family fo the Mission Viejo Cowboys and played in the Regional Championships this year!    A second team was also coached by members of this family at Flag and finished the season undefeated!

At SMPW, we KNOW that coaches make the difference!    Over the past 22 years, SMPW has developed the reputation for having the "Biggest and Best" program and one of the main reasons is we recruit and retain only the BEST coaches.  For the past 5 years our league regularly gets 10% enrollment from "Other" youth football leagues and COACHES is a big reason.

Some of the Head Coaches for 2021   (Coaches will not be officially selected by interview committee until April)

  • Rick Pizzuti - 20+ years  - Multiple Orange Bowls - Regional Championships, National Championships tournament
  • Mark Graves - 20+ years - Multiple Orange Bowls - Regional Championships, National Championships tournament
  • Jim Staff - 20+ years - Multiple Orange Bowls, Regional Championships, National Championships tournament
  • Robert Badraun - 20+ years - MV Cowboys - Multiple Orange Bowls, Regional Championships and OCJAAF Super Bowls 
  • John Beisel - 10+ years - Multiple Orange Bowls and Regional Championships
  • Blake Badraun - 10+ years- MV Cowboys - Multiple Orange Bowls and PCC/OCJAAF Championships
  • Daniel Badraun - 10+ Years - MV Cowboys - Multiple Orange Bowls and PCC/OCJAAF Championships 
  • Jason Croy - 5+ Years
  • Justin Burtt - 5+ Years - Orange Bowl
  • We are putting together our plans for 2020  RIGHT NOW.   If you want to be part of a winning organization that puts players first and is all about safety and teaching, join us in January  through April registrations.

Do you have a very gifted athlete that you are looking for a specific team make up?   Are you looking for a specific type of coach for  your son?   Do you want to join a team that could go all the way to the National Championships in Orlando?   LET US KNOW at   SMPW is putting together two types of teams in 2020  Championship format and Developmental format.





WE are SMPW and WE are PLAYING -FALL 2021 Registration Open

2021 Fall Registration is now open for Santa Margarita Pop Warner football and cheer.   The State of California has given the green light to play.   If you registered for 2020 football or cheer and did not get to play due to state/county restrictions, you can play for FREE at SMPW in 2021!(See your SMPW head coach or send note to   Lock in your player for a spot today and payment plans available .    Click on the registration button to lock in your spot!   With all the programs that got shut down last season, there will be high demand and limited space so sign up today!  Wear local high school varsity football uniforms!   With SMPW you get everything you need to play unlike those other programs that make you buy a lot of equipment.  PLAY LOCAL!  No need to travel to LA and beyond to play competitive football as we have almost all of our games in the OC!   Mustangs, Stallions, Titans, Eagles and the MV Cowboys are all here!  "OC's Biggest and Best"   IMPORTANT - IF YOU ARE ROLLING OVER 2020 FALL, NO NEED TO REGISTER HERE.  ALSO NOTE that all levels had a 5 pound weight limit increase this year!




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"Santa Margarita Pop Warner has helped more youth athlete's to develop skills and earn starting roles in High School, College and the NFL than ANY other current youth football program in Orange County"


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Clarity Tutoring - Where SMPW students get help!

Clarity Tutoring has been helping SMPW students for over 12  years!

One-on-one tutoring                            12 years experience                             Flexible hours

       Specializing in math               Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II

Call 949-300-1898 and ask for Sue

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