For 25 years, the Barrett Station Dragons have been putting such a good football product on the field that generations of athletes can’t wait to be a part of the program. But the Dragons are more than just a football program.
Founded in 1986, Barrett Station created a certain standard of values and conduct that would lead these young athletes into becoming accountable and responsible citizens of society.
Since Barrett Station did not have a football and cheerleading program, five men — Dwight Judge, Roland Flannel, John Curette, Freddie Matthews and Curtis Windfont Sr. — pooled their time, talent and dreams to create a program that would develop youngsters and make a difference. More than 1,000 athletes have passed through the uprights of the Barrett Station program, many of whom are now actively involved in the program as coaches, mentors and supporters.
Three key elements comprise the foundation upon which the Barrett Station Dragons have built their success. These three elements are education, mentoring and leadership.
Like any good sports program, the Barrett Station Dragons know that the key to everything is teaching fundamentals.
Preparation on the field begins with preparing hearts and minds off the field. The Dragons know that how you prepare has a direct correlation to how you perform. It is with this in mind that the Dragons developed the most critical portion of their program, principles and values.
Come to any meeting of the Barrett Station Dragons and you will notice one thing immediately. A caring desire to help children is evident as teachers, coaches, parents and guest speakers come together to help the Dragon players with their homework and their education.
The one thing missing? Any mention of football or cheerleading. On Monday evenings, it’s all about developing a mindset and life skills that young boys and girls can take into the world. Ninety-five percent of the coaches have been through the program and understand what it is all about. This is a tribute to the legacy of Dragons football. Ex players know what the program has given to them and now they continue the tradition of giving back to a new generation. Mentoring is a hands-on demonstration that hard work, discipline and personal responsibility bring great rewards.
One needs only to talk a minute with Judge to realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The principles and values of being accountable and responsible are as true today as they were in 1986. The world has changed, but the things that get you to the top remain the same. Life lessons are taught, demonstrated and reinforced using football as a tool.
The Dragons realize that winning football attracts athletes, but skills that will last a lifetime attract parents and athletes who are looking for more. Under the beginning tutelage of Judge and his compatriots and the generations that have followed, the Barrett Station Dragons have become a community asset. The program builds pride, respect and loyalty to self and to the community.