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THE FUTURE OF OCJAAF...

CHANGE IS COMING TO OCJAAF!...
Please stay tuned!

COMMISSIONER BOB BARNA STEPS DOWN AFTER SERVING 25 YEARS! 
Bob Barna has served the OCJAAF "faithfully" for the past 25 years, and yes, even though it has almost been non-existent the past few years, he has kept HOPE alive and continues to lead with the vision that KIDS COME FIRST! For those of us who have continued the path of OCJAAF and even though it has been difficult the past few years, we are committed to the OCJAAF way and it is our belief that RECREATIONAL FOOTBALL still has a place in our communities and still has the important values OCJAAF has taught us for the past 64 years. 

As a leader, Bob Barna found it difficult to lead when the atmosphere began to change and forces tried to discredit his beliefs and his leadership. Much of Barna's commitment and service to OCJAAF was comprised of lot's of "personal" sacrifices. But to truly understand this you had to understand the man behind the scenes. To be fair to everyone, rules had to be enforced. Rules which were drawn and voted upon by the Chapter Presidents themselves. It was a quandry? Yet only after the punishment was enforced did the lack of support to its Commissioner begin to harden against him and blame was misplaced so much it began a downfall of support to OCJAAF and many sought a way out so long as it was Bob's fault. That was their story to perpetuate and although it was not in his nature to counter blame or to play a victim, the accusations and the false narratives lived on. That was a difficult and most heart rendering adjustment for many. OCJAAF membership suffered tremendously.

CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, and for some it may take a moment to understand this and to adjust to it. But, we all know all the how's and why's of everything and the many changes that have affected youth football. The many new youth conferences that have taken up some of our OCJAAF's own brothers and sisters. There have been many other forces that wanted to get rid of youth football in at least the California communities, which we all fought hard against. But in the end, it is what it is. Then of course, going through the pandemic and even to this day we are dealing with continued outbreaks and new health mandate rules that seem to change from week to week. Coming back from a quarantine has been difficult, some well established programs had difficulty in reorganizing a come back this year. Schools denied permits for programs to continue operations. The goal was simply just to let the kids play ball. 

So here we are today. Bob Barna is stepping down as OCJAAF Commissioner. We are thankful and appreciate all that he and his wife, Suzy Barna, have given to the children of OCJAAF throughout these past 25 years (May she rest in Heavenly Peace). For the few who are still holding the OCJAAF shield we are honoring this man and his many sacrifices along the way, by holding one last game this unusual season of youth football and cheer in a game called the OCJAAF Barna Classic, November 20, 2021.  

Bob will remain as our Commissioner "Emeritus" and as a consultant so we can continue to seek his knowledge and ideas as we plan to move forward with a NEW OCJAAF...be on the lookout for it, you won't want to pass up on our open invitation!




NOW, WE WANT TO INTRODUCE OUR NEWLY APPOINTED OCJAAF COMMISSIONER...
LORA L. GONZALEZ

Lora is no stranger to the world of youth football & cheerleading. She has spent the last 27 years as President of the South Gate Aztecs. She worked side-by-side with Commissioner Barna for 15 years from 1997-2012 as the elected OCJAAF Council President. Following this she was appointed as the OCJAAF Assistant Commissioner, Scholarship Director, Webmaster and Picture ID Coordinator, all at once during the last  years she remained with OCJAAF. In 2017 Lora took the South Gate organization to OEC, Orange Empire Conference of Pop Warner. 

Lora and the South Gate Aztecs returned to OCJAAF at the beginning of 2021. And although the pandemic and quarantine of 2020 made it difficult for some existing chapters to re-organize, in the end it left just two (2) holding up the shield of OCJAAF. 

The "spirit" of OCJAAF has never been lost to the many whom were raised in the OCJAAF system within the last 64 years; or to those who took its rules, by-laws and policies as their own to create other organizations.

Lora's number one goal in her return to OCJAAF was to be an integral part of reviving the "SPIRIT OF OCJAAF." And upon her return she said, "there is no place like home!" Lora has a strong belief in FAMILY and of creating an environment that instills the values of the recreational world of youth football and cheer. She understands youth football has significantly changed in both how the game is being played today with the attitude of "win at all cost," the compilation of All Star teams and the traveling team environment. None of which she wishes to compete with. BUT, her goal of recreating OCJAAF as the "best" youth sport program for our community families is the basis of building back the OCJAAF spirit, competitiveness, and opportunities for the players and cheerleaders in an environment that truly teaches the sport of youth football and competitive cheer with sportsmanship, fair play and without the adult lust for glory! 

"We are on the road to recovery to "build back better" the OCJAAF system and once again gain its rightful place in the hearts and minds of the many who were born to OCJAAF and raised generations of children within the OCJAAF spirit! It is about community, about providing experienced student-athletes to build their local high school sports programs; keeping and nurturing our local talent to enrich our communities. We live, we work, and we play to ensure our communities a better future. I invite anyone who may be interested in joining my staff to make that difference. I invite local youth football and cheer programs to take a look at us! If you are tired of feeling less competitive, if you want to raise the bar in a true youth oriented organization, we ask that you first take a look at us, meet with us, see our prospectus and our plans for the future of OCJAAF." 


LORA L. GONZALEZ

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