Welcome to Santa Margarita Pop Warner Football and Cheer (SMPW) as we prepare for our 27th year! We are one of the largest Pop Warner organizations in the country with over 350 kids and 13 football teams in 2022. We also fielded 5 cheer squads with over 75 girls last year which is largest in the conference. Our league is made up of boys and girls ages 5 to 15 from Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Mission Viejo, Irvine, and Laguna Niguel, Trabuco Canyon, Las Flores, and Coto De Caza. SMPW is part of the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) which is made up of 27 cities in Orange and LA Counties.
We have a very proud history at SMPW since 1996. Last year, we had 10 of our 10 playoff eligible teams participate in post-season play (100%!). Multiple teams won Orange Bowl Championships and TWO teams won Regional Championships. SMPW as a league had a 700 plus winning percentage which was the highest in the OEC. While the wins and records are exciting, one of the most important aspects of SM Pop Warner is the focus on teamwork, sportsmanship and the development of our youth. In fact, Santa Margarita Pop Warner helps prepare kids for D1 high school football better than any other youth football program.SMPW had 70 alumni play in the Southern Section, Pac 5 playoffs in since 2012. Additionally, SMPW has alumni playing at Arizona State, Arizona, USC, UCLA, San Diego State, Oregon, Navy, Air Force, Northern Arizona, Cal Poly, Washington State, Utah and the NFL!!!!!!!!!
Importantly, Pop Warner remains the only youth sports organization that requires academic achievement be met in order to participate. Retention of players and coaches is strength of SMPW with over 95% of the kids that played in 2021 return in 2022. 14 of our 15 coaches also returned with prior year experience. SMPW is also very proud of the CHALLENGER division football and cheer. SMPW sent the Challenger team to Florida in past years (including 2022) to play at the National Championships.
Lastly, Santa Margarita Pop Warner is very fortunate to have the many board and non-board volunteers that keep our program moving forward. Our partnership with the school districts, Samlarc and the five local high schools (Tesoro, Trabuco Hills, San Juan Hills, and Santa Margarita) allows us to provide our kids with the best fields, equipment and facilities in the state and is a true asset to our program. In 2017, SMPW also became the new home for the former OCJAAF MV Cowboy program to continue that proud heritage. I encourage each of you to get involved in 2023 with "OC's Biggest and Best" youth football league in the country!