SRV Thunderbirds Football & Cheer

History

1959 – 2017

Thunderbird’s 58th Year!

          In 1958, a group of organizers, led by Joe Dame’ and Pete Villa founded the “La Morinda Thunderbirds”.  The first season was played in 1959 with only one division, the Jr. Bantams.  Head coach Pete Villa led the Thunderbirds for its first 12 seasons.

In 1963, the organization moved to Danville and became officially known as the San Ramon Valley Thunderbirds.

Since those early beginnings, the program has expanded tremendously.  In 1964 the cheerleading program began; in 1978 the program added the Jr. Midget level; in 1980 the Peewees were added; and in 1987 the program expanded to include the first Jr. Peewee team.  What happened to the Jr. Bantams?  They became Midgets in 1982.

            The T-Birds have a history of success.

            In 1967, the team finished tied for the League Title and went on to play in the Gold Rush Bowl in Sacramento.  All in all the Thunderbirds won six straight championships from 1967 to 1972.  One of the team members went on to become one of the most successful high school coaches in the State – Bob Ladouceur, the Head Coach at De La Salle.

In 1968, an undefeated T-Birds team again went on to the Gold Rush bowl and came away victorious.  In 1969, the Jr. Bantams were the only undefeated team in Northern California.  Undefeated in 1970, halfback Scott Russell was written up in Sports Illustrated for scoring 31 touchdowns in a single season.  The Thunderbirds went on to win the Blue and Silver Bowl in 1972.  Throughout the 70’s, bowl game followed bowl game.

Success has continued into the 80’s and 90’s.  The teams have been consistent winners.  In 1987, the first Jr. Pee Wee squad advanced to the Turkey Bowl.  In 1988, our 30th anniversary, the Midget squad defeated Antioch for the League championship.  Since 1988, the Thunderbirds have had numerous teams at all levels make the playoffs consistently year after year.  In 1995, the Jr. Midgets football team played in the Turkey Bowl.  In 1996, all four teams advanced to the playoffs and the Pee Wee level had an undefeated regular season.  In 1997, the Pee Wee football team advanced to the semi-finals.  In 2003, our Midget team went undefeated and advanced to the semi-finals.  Our success on the field continued in 2006 as all four football squads made the post-season playoffs for the first time in T-Bird history.  Their road to the playoffs was possible due to a combined win-loss record for all four squads of 30 wins and just 6 losses!

In 2007, our Jr. Pee Wee squad played the Clayton Valley Falcons in the Turkey Bowl.  Our first appearance in the Turkey Bowl since 1995!!

In 2008,  all four squads participated in the playoffs and our Pee Wee and Jr. Midget squads made it to the Turkey Bowl!  Our season was capped off by a victory in the Turkey Bowl at the Pee Wee division for the first time in years.  The Pee Wee squad went undefeated, posting a record of 12-0!

The success of the football program has only been matched by the success of the cheer program.  In 1974 and 1975, the Diablo Valley Conference Cheerleader of the Year came from the Thunderbirds.  In 1975, Thunderbird spiritleaders finished first in the Pop Warner Western Division.  In 1978 and 1979, the Jr. Bantam Pom Poms finished first and the Jr. Midgets finished first in Pom and Cheer.  In 1981, the Pee Wees took first in Pom and Cheer.

1982 was a highly successful year for the cheer program.  The Midgets Cheer and Pom finished first in district competition, the Jr. Midgets finished first in Cheer and Pom, and the Pee Wee Poms also emerged in first place.  The Midgets and Jr. Midgets were also winners in state competition.  In 1994, our Pee Wee Spiritleader squad placed 2nd in the Diablo Valley Conference Cheer Competition held at Concord Pavilion. In 2000, the Pee Wee and Midget Spiritleaders placed at Great America and the Jr. Pee Wee  and Jr. Midget Spiritleaders placed in the DVYFC Cheer Competition at UC Davis.  The Midget and Pee Wee Squads both qualified to compete at USA’s Regional Competition at Disneyland in February, 2001.  At the 2004 DVYFC Cheer Competition in Davis, the Midgets took 1st  Place in Cheer and 2nd Place in Dance.  In addition, the cheer squad as a whole won the coveted Spirit Award for the second year in a row!  In 2006 and 2007, our cheer squads have competed in the Nationals Cheer Competition at Disneyland and had tremendous success demonstrated by the many awards they brought back to the T-Birds, including a total of 4 first place awards!   2008 also proved to be a successful competition year for our cheer program.  All four squads qualified for the Nationals Cheer Competition once again and the combined Jr. Pee Wee/Pee Wee squad brought home a 1st place trophy in dance and a 2nd place trophy in cheer.  In addition, our All Star squad (Jr. Midget/Midget levels) went on to capture a 1st place trophy in the cheer division.

The San Ramon Valley Thunderbirds have a long and proud history in the Valley.  We are, in fact, the oldest youth organization in the area.

We are proud of our Thunderbirds’ history.  However, the most important results are not those of the past, from games played and impressive scores, but the tangible characteristics T-Bird girls and boys take with them when they leave the field.  The competition a Thunderbird faces is not unlike the competition of life, and he/she will be better prepared for having been a Thunderbird.

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