Youth Football Friendships: Pregame, In-game & Postgame

One of the things we most love about Treasure Valley youth football is the camaraderie – the lifelong friendships formed by being on a team.

Kids bond over teamwork, strategy and working together to accomplish goals. They share the joy of their successes and the problem-solving that comes with adversity.

The experience of a fall Saturday at the Boise Optimist fields stays with them all week.

We appreciate the coaches and the officials and the parents – and especially the players who make football go!

Boise Youth Football Beating the Heat

Written By: Tom Scott

Boise youth football players play for each other through rain, sleet, sun and heat!

Regarding the latter, it sure didn’t faze the kids at the Optimist fields on Saturday, September 16th.

They forged ahead on a toasty 90 degree day, and there was access to water everywhere they turned.

(The officials did get a break here and there!)

Youth Football Jamboree at Boise State

Written By: Tom Scott

Thanks to Optimist Youth Football for another successful Saturday at the annual Youth Football Jamboree at Boise State Albertsons Stadium, August 19th

It’s a great thrill for youngsters to play on the famous blue turf.

This year there were 50 teams and more than 1,000 players and 300 cheerleaders.

And we can’t forget coaches, parents, family and friends!

It was a good time for all, and it was an experience the participants will always remember.

Thank A Referee Today!

Written By: Friend Of Football Volunteers

We ask that you take a moment the next time you are on the field and thank and recognize the effort made by our referees!  While we understand that the referee pool has a broad range of ages and skill levels represented in any given game, all of us parents, coaches and players recognize that this is a difficult role – particularly for our younger teenage referees who might be working for the very first time.
Please thank a referee, and please encourage your athlete to thank a referee as well. A little kindness and respect for the officials can go a long way! We are beyond grateful for the work and the effort that referees put in, We need our referees in order to play the game; please show them respect. 
By showing our referees respect, we will help create an environment in which our younger referees feel comfortable and safe so they return each season, more experienced and knowledgeable than before. And we set a great example for our kids.

Messages That Last A Lifetime

Messages That Last A Lifetime

Written By: Keith L. Anderson, Ph.D

These are just a few sayings coaches said to me and my teammates. They all translate to life off the field. I have used these and other sayings in my life after football. 

  • Keep your head on a swivel. (Know what’s going on around you)
  • Don’t get beat deep. (Do your job the best way you can and you won’t get beat very often)
  • If a receiver crosses your face one way, you can bet another will cross your face the other way. (Don’t get so focused on one thing, that you miss other things going on right in front of you)
  • Everyone needs to work hard, because, we’re only as good as the last man on this team. (Push yourself and make those around you better and everyone wins)
  • How hard are you willing to work when there’s no one around? (Success is mostly a lonely road. Oftentimes, you have to be able to motivate and encourage yourself)
  • Start strong and finish up strong. (Odds are, if you start strong and finish strong, you’ll completed the task, the way it should have been completed)

Dr. Keith L. Anderson is a former Boise State football player from the late 1970s. He was a longtime adjunct professor at Boise State and is also an author, lecturer and singer-songwriter. He coached several years in Optimist Youth Football, coaching the first girl to play in the OYF program, Missy Wheeler. Dr. Anderson worked 26 years with the TRIO Program, helping and motivating low income middle school and high school students to go to college.


As part of Boise’s African American community, Dr. Anderson has used his communication skills to coach, teach and reach students from many backgrounds.

It Was a Very Good Year

As we go through the holidays, we reflect on everything that football has given us this past year:


  • Friendships
  • Camaraderie
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Respect
  • Lessons for life


We especially thank the officials and volunteers who make it all happen. As we go into 2023, let’s resolve to be good fans and good parents. Cheer for your kid, cheer for your kid’s team, and thank the officials for caring enough to be there.

We’re Thankful For Referees

Written By: Kate Mason, Optimist Youth Football parent

It’s a beautiful day and the two teams are ready to play, but there are no referees.  Without referees, the game can’t be played.

In youth sports, many times you will see high school kids officiating to gain a few extra bucks – or maybe because of their athletic experience and love of the game.

While it’s true that referees may not get every call correct, remember they are human and they are out on the field to do a job. It is important that all those involved in the game, in any capacity, appreciate the value the referees add.

Good Sports Parents

Written By: Kate Mason, Optimist Youth Football parent

My son’s team has a wonderful set of parents that I have greatly enjoyed getting to know over these last few weeks.  I came across this list posted recently by The Reformed Sports Project.  I thought the message was important to pass on.  This list personally has given me a chance to reflect on why these positive actions can make my son’s sports experience better. 

5 things that every sports parent should do…

  1. Support every player on the team
  2. Speak positively about the coaches even if you don’t agree
  3. Encourage working through struggles
  4. Ask questions instead of giving opinions
  5. Be a positive influence at games

We’re Into The Heart Of The Season

We’re Into The Heart Of The Season

Written By: Kate Mason, Optimist Youth Football parent (1 minute read)

Fall football is underway and the photos tell the story! The kids are having a wonderful season so far. We are grateful for the opportunity to get outside and play a game that we all love. Along with learning the fundamentals of football, our players are making new friends and experiencing life lessons on what it means to play as a team. The great coaches make the experience even better. We are so thankful to be playing with Optimist Youth Football!