skip navigation

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

As President of SMPW for the past 19 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

2020 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 2020   (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.





SMPW WILL Have Football and Cheer This Year!

SMPW and the OEC will be playing football this year.   We will be aligning with the CIF high school plan.   First practice will be December 1st 2020.   First game will be Saturday, January 9th, 2021 with final game being March 13th 2021.   We still have space for teams and coaches from other associations and leagues that closed down early.   Send any questions to



SMPW Wins TWO Spring Championships in 4VERT

Congratulations to the 5/6 and 7/8 Eagles 7 on 7 teams for each taking 1st place in the 4VERT championships!    SMPW had 2 of the 6 champions out of 75 teams!   Great job SMPW!



smpwOC mg smpwOC

AMP Youth Football BASELINE Testing for Safety


"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"


Sponsored by Athlete's Choice

Athlete's Choice

Visit Website
Sponsored by Ball Park Pizza

Ball Park Pizza

Visit Website
Sponsored by Dicks Sporting Goods Ladera Ranch

Dicks Sporting Goods Ladera Ranch

Visit Website


Clarity element view

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

Sponsored by AMP Sports Med

AMP Sports Med

Visit Website
Usa pw partnership element view

USA Heads Up Football