One of the primary objectives of Bristol Youth Football and Cheer is to encourage the youth of Bristol to strive for academic excellence throughout the school year.
Fourth grade Bulldog quarterback Jarrett Boxley attends West Bristol and has spent his offseason trying to help his fellow students succeed in school. Jarrett volunteers to stay after school twice a week and tutors math.
“I saw that some of my friends and classmates were struggling in math – and I was pretty good at it, so I offered to help,” Boxely said.
Another fourth grade Bulldog is using his offseason to not only excel in academics, but learn a new hobby. Ten-year-old Will Coleman has taken up the trumpet at Edgewood Elementary School. He practices daily and was selected by his music teacher to perform in the Edgewood Music recital in April.
Devin Freeze completed his first season as a Bristol Bulldog and looks forward to conditioning in July, starting his second season with his teammates. During the offseason he has achieved his mid-belt star on his purple belt in karate while maintaining high grades at Ivy Drive elementary school.
Jesse Johnson is a center on the fifth grade Bristol Bulldog team and in his first year with the Central Connecticut Young Marines. Young Marine Private Johnson is a high honor student at Greene Hills, where he is organizing “Trots for Troops” to raise donations for deployed troops. Jesse is also an active member of JFVA in Forestville, a volunteer program for children. He plays trombone at school and was in the Greene Hills’ play, the Wizard of Oz.
Linwood Hazelwood, 12, takes his education very seriously. This winter Linwood was placed on honor roll for the third year in a row, the first at his new school, West Bristol. A linebacker during football season, Linwood continues to stay involved in athletics during the Bulldogs’ offseason. This year he and his younger brother Deavon, from the Bulldogs’ fourth grade team, were chosen to play for the Connecticut Select AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Basketball team of Waterbury.
When Linwood isn’t playing sports or studying, he is looking for ways to give back to his community. He recently started working on a fundraiser through school to benefit Operation Smile, an organization that provides free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the world.
Linwood’s teammate Christian Decker was the student of the month at Chippens Hill in January and has achieved high honors. Christian is actively involved in the Hillside Community Church Youth Group and played lacrosse. He completed his final year in the Upward Christian Basketball League.
Linebacker Joey Aiello has maintained high honors all year in seventh grade at Chippens Hill Middle School. He is a student ambassador, along with his older brother Dominic, spending their free time volunteering to help the disabled at New Horizons Village in Unionville. Joey will finish his Bulldog career as a member of the eighth grade team, with his father Paul leading the team as head coach.
Aiello’s teammate Conner Feeney-Wallace has also received high honors at his school, Greene Hills. Conner continues to stay athletic in the offseason, participating in after school weight training and wrestling. During the regular season, when not on the field with his team, rain or shine Conner volunteers as a referee for BYF&C flag football games.
While the eighth graders have played their last games as Bristol Bulldogs, they remain a part of the league at heart. Dominic Aiello is a high honors student-athlete at Chippens Hill Middle School. Dominic made the Football University All-Star State team and is ranked number two in the state for defensive and offensive linemen.
Age 10 and under cheerleader Allie Aparo has received exceptional grades at Ivy Drive. She’s in the first grade reading at the second grade level. In the spring Allie began gymnastics and soccer.
For more information on Bristol Youth Football & Cheer, visit www.ihigh.com/byfc.